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Work begins to beef up police protection

August 11, 2011
By J.T. Whitehouse
Boardman voters passed the 3.85-mill, five-year police levy during the special election on Aug. 2. The levy was approved by 56 percent or 4,655 of the 8,267 votes cast.

“I was surprised to see over 8,000 voters turn out for an August election,” said Boardman Township Administrator Jason Loree. “We are gearing up now for the retooling process in 2012.”

He said the funds from the levy won’t be seen until April of next year, but steps are being taken now to put things in motion for hiring more police officers. Presently, township officials are going over Civil Service exams.

Loree added that work is going on with contracts, the most recent involving dispatchers. He said recent negotiations have included no increases in wages for three years and a new wage scale for new hires. The next contract negotiations will be with the patrol union, but that is being held up while township administrators await the outcome of the Senate Bill 5 vote in November. Loree said that vote will affect what can go into the contract.

Trustee Larry Moliterno said the recent success of the levy took a lot of hard work.

“We spent the past six to eight months speaking to residents throughout the township in churches, swim clubs, kitchens, basements etc and I believe that the people in the township understand that we are at a crossroads,” Moliterno said. “With state funding cuts and other reductions in revenue, we as residents had to step up for the protection of our families. We want to recognize that the employees of the township have also stepped up by negotiating contracts that will reduce costs immediately but also enable us to stretch these levy dollars out for years.”

He said Boardman deserves a fair share of financial support from the county and state. As the Valley’s destination for shopping, entertainment and business, Moliterno said he wants to work with county and state officials to get them to acknowledge that fact.

As for how soon residents could see action from the passage of the levy, Moliterno said, “While the revenue generated by the levy will not be distributed to the township until spring of 2012, we are already looking for ways to bring additional officers on board as soon as possible.”

“I know that this current board of trustees (Brad Calhoun, Tom Costello and I, along with Fiscal Officer Bill Leicht) are committed to show respect and appreciation for the trust the residents have shown in us by continuing our efforts to run Boardman efficiently and effectively while we work together to ensure a strong and safe Boardman Township for generations to come,” he said. “We are making decisions based on what is best for Boardman in the long term.”



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