CLOVERDALE -- The Cloverdale Town Council conducted two public hearings as well as its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night.
After two lengthy public hearings, the regularly scheduled meeting got off to a quick start. Town Marshal Jon Chadd again came before the board to discuss the issue of police vehicles as well as the possibility of buying several essential items.
The issue of police cars, which has been tabled at more than one meeting, was brought before the council again. This time with Chadd asking for answers to questions such as the insurance check, which was received on one of the Cloverdale cars being totaled in a wreck.
"There is plenty of money for me to do what I feel like we need to do," Chadd said. "We still have the issue of a $26,000 insurance check for a totaled police car that I don't know where it's at. We haven't spent it."
The money from the check currently sits in the general fund as the Town of Cloverdale continues to figure out its financial situation.
The town is currently running on the 2012 state-approved budget. Chadd came before the board stating he has currently not spent much, if any, of his current budget for the police department.
"Yes, there is money in his budget, but when I'm in a deficit, like Mark Cassida, he had nothing in his budget. When he had to get his codebooks up to date that was $1,000, his mailings and so on with nothing in the budget," explained clerk-treasurer Cheryl Galloway.
"He's at minus $10,000, and when he's at minus $10,000, I have to get that money from somewhere. At the end of the year when I have a deficit that money gets moved up to where my deficits are or I'm not going to have enough money to pay the bills."
In the past, Chadd stated that the budget has never worked that way. Police department money is the police department's money, he stressed.
"I don't want the public to believe the police department spent all this money," Chadd said. "We haven't spent a dime. We can't take all the police department's money and give it to everyone else. We've never done it this way before."
The insurance check itself has to go back to the police department to replace equipment, according to ordinance. It cannot be spent on anything else.
However, Galloway said she would continue to hold the check until the end of the year in case something should happen. At the end of the year she told Chadd they will talk about what to do with the police cars.
"I haven't bought things all year for a reason," explained Chadd. "We are at the point now where we need things. I'm going to buy them, we have to."
Chadd came before the board Tuesday evening asking for approval to purchase such items as tires, ammunition and general day-to-day items that have been budgeted for.
"We can't take all the police department's money and give it to everyone else and say 'Oh, I'm sorry you don't have any,'" Chadd said. "We've never done that before. We cannot not have any money. It's not possible and we can't operate that way."
The issue with not having the funds is tied to the lack of transfers between funds throughout this year. Money being moved around from time to time was a common occurrence that used to happen. However, with Galloway new to the job, she has yet to get to that point of being able to do so.
"Money gets moved around," council vice president Dennis Padgett said. "I know you don't like it, but it's part of it. We're trying to keep the town running as a whole, and that is her job."
The marshal's department has its own pre-approved state budget. According to Town Attorney Alan Yackey, Chadd is not required to come before the board when buying things with a value lower than $1,000.
"We get flack from both ends, there are no policemen and there are no this. If we don't have any money to have the simple things that we need that should answer the question," Chadd said.
"We're robbing from Peter to pay Paul and then everyone wants to know where the guys are. If all the cars are broke down and apart, that's where they are. I'm not talking about huge expenditures. I know I can do it, I'm just asking you to try and find out where it (the money) went."
After a lengthy discussion the town authorized Chadd to buy department necessities such as taser cartridges, ammunition, tires and general items. However, the issue of the police car was again put on hold.
Chadd also brought up the issue of the insurance rates as the town recently approved an increase for those on the insurance with families.
"Nobody can afford to pay $1,100 a month for insurance," Chadd said. "My officers are two of the three affected by this. That's taking their entire paycheck. There has to be something that we can do."
Chadd made the suggestion of not offering insurance and giving employees a pay raise that would allow them to find their own insurance.
"The insurance they have is like Cadillac insurance. It's 100 percent of everything," Padgett said. "I've fought on this board to drop it down. Live like the rest of us. This town doesn't pay that much, but they do pay a good insurance policy."
The town is currently unable to look at other policies such as a health savings account, which Roachdale currently uses, due to the town being under a three-year contract. The town does not have much choice until next year.
Building Inspector Mark Cassida updated the board that he is moving forward on yet another unsafe house. Yackey and Cassida will soon be going to court again in hopes of collecting money for fines racked up by the Smyser properties.
Cassida commended Galloway on her efforts, stating that she is the only one that has taken her job to heart, saying she really cares about where the money comes from.
Sublett presented Cassida with a Community Service award during the meeting. Recently, Cassida was inspecting an unsafe home and found a pit bull, who as abandoned and left without food and water for an extended period of time.
Cassida went to the vet to obtain food and medicine to calm the dog and then took it to a shelter to get the dog the help it needed.
Among the old business discussed, was once again the parking ordinance, which was finally approved by the board.
After several complaints from residents, the board agreed to add another handicapped parking space in the town along with painting some curbs yellow to ensure the proper line of vision while driving.
The board also approved the final draft of the employee handbook along with a resolution for the food and beverage tax.