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Sussex Countian
  • Georgetown Town Council tables request to promote three police officers

  • A near $7,000 budget amendment request from the Georgetown Police Department for the promotion of three officers was unanimously tabled at a Dec. 11 Town Council meeting.
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    • IN OTHER BUSINESS
      > Representatives from Primeros Pasos were slated to request permission from the council to place its three modular buildings on foundation; however the organization has decided to w...
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      IN OTHER BUSINESS
      > Representatives from Primeros Pasos were slated to request permission from the council to place its three modular buildings on foundation; however the organization has decided to wait until they receive outside agency approval from the state Fire Marshal and the Delaware Department of Transportation, among others.
      > A Comprehensive Plan Amendment accepting a possible reduced level of service at the Del. Route 9 and U.S. Route 113 intersection due to future development was unanimously approved.
      > The annual town employee holiday incentive, totaling about $5,200, was unanimously approved.
      > Revisions to the town’s ice cream peddler ordinance regarding criminal background checks were unanimously approved.
  • A near $7,000 budget amendment request from the Georgetown Police Department for the promotion of three officers was unanimously tabled at a Dec. 11 Town Council meeting.
    In a recent letter to Town Manager Gene Dvornick, Chief William Topping asked to promote the officers, who came to Georgetown from the Laurel Police Department, to the rank of patrolman first class as of Jan. 1, 2014.
    “These officers were certified when hired and are eligible to be promoted to patrolman first class after one year of service,” Topping wrote. “As you are aware, no provision was made in the current budget to fund this promotion.”
    Councilwoman Linda Dennis said while there are many town employees deserving of promotions and raises, consideration of this request would be more appropriate during fiscal year 2015 budget discussions, which begin next month.
    “At that time it can be put into a proper context as to what we can afford and what we are willing to give up in other areas because that’s what it’s going to come down to,” Dennis said. “I’m not saying this is not something worthy of consideration, but let’s put it in the context of what we’re going to be looking at in the next fiscal year.”
    Mayor Mike Wyatt agreed, adding the town is already looking at a possible budget shortfall of $250,690 for the current fiscal year.
    “I think anyone in the police department knows that this council will do whatever we can for all of our employees, not just the police department,” Wyatt said. “This is something I think we need to look at for our next budget.”
    Topping also requested the police department be granted permission to begin a testing cycle to fill an open corporal position. He said due to personnel realignments and attrition, the department is currently one corporal short, causing a shortage of shift supervisors.
    Because the corporal position would not be filled until the next budget year, the council agreed to the testing.
    An annual waiver of parking meter fees for holiday shopping was narrowly approved at the meeting with a vote of 3-2.
    “The town started doing this many years ago for downtown merchants during the Christmas shopping season,” Dvornick said, adding parking would be free through Dec. 31.
    Councilwoman Sue Barlow said she doesn’t think the waiver is necessary.
    “We have so few businesses downtown,” Barlow said. “The only thing this will do is give courthouse employees free parking.”
    Barlow and Dennis voted against the measure, while Wyatt and Councilmen Bill West and Steve Hartstein voted in favor.
    Page 2 of 2 - “There are still a few businesses up here and hopefully this will help them out,” Wyatt said.

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