TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR
BOARD OF FINANCE
March 29, 2007
The Board of Finance Special meeting was called to order at 7:32 p.m. at the East Windsor Town Hall.
Members Present: Others Present:
Paul Catino, Chairman Mary Szabo, Town Treasurer
Noreen Farmers, Secretary Ed Fillipone, First Selectman
Jack Manette, Alternate
Leo Szymanski, alternate
OVERTIME EXPENDITURES REVIEW
The chairman pointed out that there are three (3) themes to determine throughout the meeting:
1) How the overtime is being spent. Emergency & Crisis vs. Routine – management decisions being made.
2) Discussion regarding outside overtime and the Town receiving the money.
3) How are we going to get to the end of the year – a plan to land the budget where it needs to be.
Motion: To appoint Jack Mannette as full voting member to replace Tammy Sorensen-Duray.
Ms. Nelson / Ms. Farmer
The chairman thanked the police commission for coming to tonight’s meeting. The objective is to condense the information provided by the Police Chief and the Commission and walk through the summary, which Noreen Farmer has put together from the information obtained.
There are 2 sets of documents, which Noreen started with. The first set is variable overtime. She received the time records and put it in the same type of reporting. The variable overtime is by personnel and pay period. It covers a 20-week pay cycle from 9/3/06 through 1/20/07. There are questions listed with the sheets, which have been provided.
The immediate question is the overtime report and the time records dates have significant differences – why?
The response was that the comp time is not reflected in the variable overtime report. 8 hours of overtime is converted to 12 hours for the officer to use. Comp time is earned at time & ½. Officers can choose overtime pay or comp time at time & ½.
Account code 325 is training.
There was discussion on the comp time causing us additional money when an officer has to fill in on overtime, when we are paying comp time and then another office is getting time & ½. The concern is are we managing to the lowest bottom line.
Each master time card has an additional time record, it is signed off by a supervisor and at the end of the pay period it is signed off by the administrator. If a police officer is working extra hours and its not needed, it will get caught. Overtime is needed work and is signed off by a Supervisor. Legitimate overtime can result from a case running over shift or an officer needed in court, etc. It is policed and used when needed.
Vacation must be given when requested to two (2) officers and a dispatcher per contract. Ultimately, an entire scheduled shift could take it off, as long as the day off was requested within the time requirements. It is not management discretion to give the day off; it is per the contract.
The Police Department and the Commission do not like the comp time, but it is required by the contract too. The Police Chief stated that as a manager, there are a lot of things that he would like to do, but he cannot do, due to the contracts.
Then the unused overtime is paid out in July, automatically the police department starts off the New Year in the hole. A mutual agreement was discussed about putting the 325 salaries in the overtime.
Overtime Defined and 325/Comp Time defined can start in July.
We need to take a better look at the overtime to be able to budget for it. The overtime and variable were split so that the overtime was for fixed holiday and weekend overtime and the rest was variable.
The comp time needs to be budgeted for because every July the officers need to be paid for the comp time they didn’t use at the end of the year. It is important that everyone understands how much overtime is being worked and it needs to be more transparent. The reporting needs to be more complete.
Shift Minimums: This is based on policy.
Sunday 8:01am – Friday 3:59pm 2 man minimum
Friday 4:00pm – Sunday 8:00am 3 man minimum
The sheets that the board was presented are for patrol only and dispatchers. There are no detectives, chief, etc. 35% of the time the department runs only 2 officers. There are 5 officers posted for shifts on the sheets, there are some that are on training and don’t count toward the shift minimum. 2 & 3 man relief to shift minimum.
The Chairman questioned why we couldn’t count lateral transfer (training) officers toward the shift minimum. The Chairman requested that a letter be sent to the attorney requesting interpretation of the language in the contract regarding lateral transfers counting toward shift minimum.
Use of Training Account – it was discussed and requested that training be separated out from the timecards and that the training does not indicate what kind of training took place.
Training is an operational account and should be ONLY for training expense and overtime for it should hit a salary line.
In the budget for next year, would like to see the training line changed significantly, the expense for the cost of a conference or training / trainer. The Chief will provide. The Board wants to see the costs split between the actual training and the overtime for the training. Mary will create an overtime training line. The Chairman needs input to divide the training. Some of the expenses that are being charged to the training line are for patrol.
There was discussion and clarification on the system for overtime rotation. One board member feels that the Chief can order in an officer to work. We seem to be brining in the highest paid officers to work the overtime.
The Chief explained that the overtime goes through a rotation and someone can volunteer to work. The Chief is not going to order someone in when an officer is volunteering. It is on a rotation and an officer can reject it, it then goes to the next officer in line for it until it is taken. An officer has to qualify for overtime to be worked. The Chief would address a safety issue and has stop gap procedures in place.
Outside Overtime (Private Duty) – the current rate for a business to have an officer present on a job or roadwork is currently $58/hour and an additional $10/hour for a car. Our top rank officer is $45/hour. The Board expressed that the key is to continue to update and review the rates and the thought process is that the Town has to pay for the expenses on the car, fuel, etc to be sure that we are covering the cost. The Chief advised that it was just increased and they are going to look at it every 6 months. The new rate is as of January. They will be looking to see incremental increases to cover / offset the costs of the vehicle and administrative costs. The Tiger Team feels that the cost to the Town is $75-80 / hour including the car.
The Chairman suggests the next review – have a workshop and include some Board of Finance members to look at the costs associated with the outside overtime. It was mentioned that there is a subjective opinion to the outside overtime. The Chairman advised that this is a Police Commission jurisdiction, but better for both boards to work better if we work together.
The scheduling of private duty is done the same was the rotation is for the overtime. An officer can take off their shift and work on a private duty job the same day.
The Police Commission brought up and wanted to discuss that Mr. Dove put out to the public that this department is over-staffed by 1/3. Mr. Barton stated that in no way is that true and its not right that it was put out to the public. The statement made was that it was over-staffed by 7-8 people. The Chairman apologized for it and indicated that it was not presented by the Board of Finance nor was it a Board of Finance document. It was the Tiger Teams point of view. One Board member indicated that the statement has affected the Board, that outside people have questioned it.
The Wednesday, April 11th workshop, move to the Town Hall. Start at 6:30 with a Joint meeting with the Police Commission from 6:30-7:30 and then the Board of Finance workshop will start at 7:30.
Added Appropriation – the added appropriation of $38,470 can be voted on tonight or tabled to the next meeting.
This money is already in contingency, so no additional money is really being requested. The money belongs to the Police Department and was part of their budget. It was simply moved out of the line item and into the contingency line. The Chairman indicated that there were no issues to add the appropriation.
The Chairman made a STRONG REQUEST – until we have a mutual agreement and plan to get to the end of the year, he requested that the police commission please not fill any vacant positions.
The Commission indicated that they are split on the issue. The chief has a strong opinion that he will save money in the budget if he can get someone trained and up and going in May. The timeframe to hire was the last week in April.
The Chairman indicated that it would be helpful if he could see the Chief’s plan and he requested a draft plan by the next Board of Finance meeting.
Motion: To transfer $38,470.00 from the Contingency2 account #1-01-50-8410-8-895-0000-0 to the Police Department Salary Fixed Overtime account #1-01-15-2145-1-102-0000-0 in the amount of $13,402.00 and the amount of $25,068.00 to the Salary Variable Overtime account #1-01-15-2145-1-103-0000-0 respectively.
Ms. Nelson / Ms. Farmer
Motion: To adjourn at 10:23.
Ms. Nelson / Ms. DeSousa
Lori P. Holden