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Council votes to reorganize police department

Saturday, December 1, 2007

CLOVERDALE -- The Clover-dale Town Council voted 3-1 Thursday night to reorganize the police department in 2008 -- further demoting former police chief Charlie Hallam and simplifying the pay scale.

The plan, which Marshal Don Pearson presented, eliminated all but four of the seven ranks in the police department -- including chief deputy, the rank Hallam currently holds.

President Don Sublett, Vice-President Dennis Padgett and member Glen Vickroy voted for the measure. Member Judy Whitaker voted against it. John Davis was absent from the meeting.

At it's Nov. 14 meeting, the council voted 3-2, with Davis and Whitaker dissenting, to demote Hallam and appoint Pearson as his replacement.

Under the new scheme, Hallam will be a senior patrolman, which, unlike chief deputy, is not a policy-making position, said Town Attorney Allan Yackey.

The change will bring the organizational structure of the police department into line with the other towns, Sublett said. The new system has only marshal, senior patrolman, patrolman and entry level-probationary patrolman positions. The old system was structured more like a city police department, Pearson added.

Under the new pay scheme, Pearson will make $42,000 per year, giving him no pay increase over Hallam's salary as chief this year.

As senior patrolman, Hallam will make $37,500 -- a $500 raise over chief deputy pay, but $4,500 les than he was making as chief.

Former Chief Deputy Tim Walker will take a $2,000 pay cut because of his demotion from chief deputy.

On the whole though, the new pay scale significantly increases the salaries of the police force. The senior patrol position originally made between $27,000 and $28,800. That will be bumped up to $37,500. Patrolmen made between $24,900 and $26,500 in 2007. In 2008, they will make $35,000.

The new scheme does not change the number of officers on the force and Jason Baugh, who is currently completing classes at the law enforcement academy, will still be out of a job when he gets out of school, Pearson said.

Whitaker opposed the move, accusing Sublett of having a business relationship with Pearson and allowing that to govern the council's decision making.

Sublett and Pearson both denied that.

The council also voted 3-1 to give all other town employees a 3 percent raise -- just above the estimated cost of living increase for next year.

Whitaker indicated that she was in support of the raise, but voted against it because of the way the motion was worded.

However, at Whitaker's suggestion, council members decided to forgo a pay raise for themselves for 2008, leaving their salaries at $4,900 per year. Whitaker's term expires at the end of this year.

Under the new salary ordinance, Pearson and Utility Manager Mike Gray are the highest paid town employees with salaries of $45,000 per year each. Gray told the council that he would give up his pay raise to the employees in his department.

Clerk-Treasurer Patti Traux, the third highest paid town employee, will make about $38,000 next year.

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While you are at it, why don't you go ahead and fund the Whispering Winds lift station. Then pay the "volunteer" fire department about $87,575 for 2008 (free water included).The board President said it was the CTVFD fans that voted him in, so more funding to them is only appropriate, seriously. How about getting Mr. Lyons his job back? Is there anything else this board can undo or redo? Are any "special" board meetings in mind to maybe, close off part of Laffayette Street for "undisclosed"


-- Posted by Xgamer on Sat, Dec 1, 2007, at 2:57 AM

What does Whispering Winds, CTVFD, Laffayette (Lafayette) street have to do with Police Services and Town employees pay raises?

-- Posted by cb on Tue, Dec 4, 2007, at 4:54 PM

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