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Cop contract stalls over concessions

Thomas Jordan, attorney for the PBA, said no reasonable counter offer has be given by the town.

Marchewka said the PBA has a long history of working with the town to reach contract negotiations in difficult financial times, but he criticized the town during the past two negotiations for hiring attorneys from outside of the town. This is the current administration's first time dealing with contract negotiations.

"The negotiations have been adversarial and contentious," said Marchewka in a statement. "The Association has good reason to believe that these attorneys were brought in to cut our staff and reduce our benefits and compensation."

Koetzle said the Town Board has a responsibility to hire the best attorneys to represent the residents. Marchewka said that money would be better spent putting new police officers on the streets.

"We are already paid less than other police offers in other towns," said Marchewka. "The money spent on these outside attorneys should have been used to hire new officers and compensate us for what we do."

After a police officer is on the job for four years, there is a base pay of $65,000, said Koetzle, which doesn't include overtime or benefits. Koetzle said there might be towns that pay officers more, but he also knew of towns paying officers less than what Glenville offers.

Glenville doesn't provide paid health insurance to police officers retiring before the age of 55 Marchewka said it is one of the few towns that don't do this practice. Koetzle estimated to provide this paid insurance would cost the town over $3 million, which is not something he believes the town can afford.

Marchewka said town officials blame unions for budgetary problems, but this isn't correct.

"Other nearby towns are finding ways to reasonably compensate their employees and adequately staff their departments, but our town officials are content to blame the unions for their difficulties. Our residents deserve better than that," said Marchewka.

Koetzle said he hopes to reach negotiations before the 2011 budget is approved on Nov. 17, so he could include any savings the town would incur and add any raises that would be given.

"I feel very confident that we can get a deal with all three unions within the time frame we set forth," said Koetzle. "If they want to come back to the table and talk, we are sitting at the table waiting for them.""

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