FAIRWELL TO THE CHIEF ?
An interesting point was made as the BoS were discussing the police dept budget. One of the reasons that this budget had ballooned is that it was anticipating an administrative chief; which means the chief would not do patrol duty. This would require a patrolman on duty with the chief. They called Chief Bucknell a working chief; which means that in addition to being a patrol officer 40+ hours per week she had to take care of all the administrative duties as well. This must be why people usually had to set an appointment with Chief Bucknell. With Officer Pilone I can usually just stop by the station and he can chat. I have to wonder if it’s worth an extra $50,000.00 so I can sit down at will and talk with the chief about what I wrote on my blog.
Charlie said that in the case of a working chief the administrative duties usually took a back seat to the duties of serving the people’s safety needs. Charlie may have just inadvertently revealed why the police dept was in such disorder. Perhaps this is why Chief Bucknell could rarely take time off and had to put in many unpaid hours of overtime. Now the BoS wants to fire the chief because she was a working chief. They also mentioned that the new chief would have to be a working chief as well. I guess in a few years we’ll be doing another ten thousand dollar report to find the house is still in disorder and we have to fire another chief.
By now you’ve heard that the BoS voted to hire a part time interim chief. I can’t recall the guys name and it really doesn’t matter. I guess this interim chief's main mission is to figure out how to get rid of Chief Bucknell without it looking like the BoS are trying to railroad her. They said this would take 3 to 6 months and cost about $750.00 a week for this part time position. Of course we will still be paying Chief Bucknell her full time salary while she is on administrative leave; and God only knows how much it will cost to settle any law suit.
This interim chief really has his work cut out for him. He has to take a report that could not show the Attorney General or the District Attorney any actionable offences against the chief, and find a way to use it to fire her. News flash BoS; it will always look like you’re trying to railroad the chief because you are railroading her. Have the guts to either fire her and take the consequences or swallow your pride bring her back. But don’t make the town spend any more money to support your foolishness.
It was unclear to me if we as citizens could stop this train wreck. The way the BoS was talking is that it’s a fait accompli and regardless of what happens at the special town meeting they think it’s a done deal. Although I don’t know how they will fund this fiasco if we vote it down. It seems that if this BoS wants to do something they don’t let anything get in their way. Maybe the only way to stop this train wreck is to throw this BoS off of the train.