By Kaylee Lindenmuth
SHENANDOAH - Brought up during Mayor Andrew J. Szczyglak's report during Monday's borough council meeting was a request for clarification on council concerns with the borough police department's scheduling and, specifically, overtime.
Szczyglak noted that, at times, he'd be told one thing by the borough, which he'd relay to borough police, who would be told by the borough another thing, and expressed frustration.
"I want to sit down with the entire council, the law and order committee, and I want to hash this out," said Szczyglak. "I want to know what's expected from council in regards to the police department when it comes to scheduling, how many officers on per shift that they want scheduled--"
"Our concern on council is overtime," said council president Leo Pietkiewicz, noting that scheduling is in the hands of the mayor, citing a court case in which a former mayor sued the borough over the matter.
"I agree with how they're doing the schedule over there," said Szczyglak. "I don't really want to get into it right now, but I was told that council feels there are certain times of the day when we do not need two officers on per shift, that we only need one. Then, when I go and I tell my chief that maybe we could look into this, and the chief comes back to employees of the borough, then 'oh, no, we never said that.'"
Pietkiewicz noted he would organize a meeting with council and the department regarding the matter and their expectations.
Pietkiewicz added that they want to take a look at limiting overtime which can be prevented.
"There's expected overtime, but what preventive overtime can we have?" said Pietkiewicz. "You're going to have overtime based on caseload, callouts, call-offs, what's preventative?"
"We'll sit down, we'll have the contract there, we'll explain the expectations from council from the financial point of it... and we'll come to a common ground," said Pietkiewicz.
After the meeting, when asked about the cost to the borough from police overtime, Pietkiewicz said it varies, and had no rough estimate.
"We feel there's some things that could be put in place, that there's a set guideline that they have to follow and we all come into agreement, we could curb some of it," added Pietkiewicz.
Also during his report, Szczyglak commended the police department for the drug arrests made in Shenandoah on Friday.
Later, Pietkiewicz noted that the sewer authority had received a grant they applied for recently, intended for either repair or replacement of the Shenandoah sewer plant west of town, though he didn't have an exact number.
"I haven't gotten a final number, but I've heard it's quite substantial," said Pietkiewicz, noting he'll have more details at the next meeting, following the sewer authority meeting.
In other business, borough council
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