Last updated: July 15. 2013 11:42PM - 2723 Views
By - smocarsky@timesleader.com - (570) 991-6386

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FORTY FORT — Borough council on Monday voted to hire two part-time police officers, buy a new police vehicle, accept the resignation of Code Enforcement Officer Steve Nowroski and advertise for a new code officer as well as seek proposals for a third-party contractor to perform code enforcement duties.

After the meeting, Nowroski said his resignation, which becomes effective in two weeks, did “absolutely not” have anything to do with an investigation that council voted to initiate into the code department at a meeting two weeks ago. He said he began sending out resumes five or six weeks ago and accepted a better job offer. He declined to identify his new future employer.

Council had hired attorney John G. Dean at an hourly rate of $165 with a maximum cost of $4,000 to investigate allegations that a political figure was receiving preferential treatment from the code office. Besides Nowroski, there are two other code enforcement employees.

During the meeting, council President Joe Chacke thanked Nowroski for his nearly seven years of service.

Council also voted to notify Kingston and Wyoming officials and terminate the code enforcement agreements with those boroughs.

Although council voted down the purchase of a 2013 Ford Expedition SUV for the police department two weeks ago, council approved the $40,500 purchase on Monday with a stipulation capping the number of miles that the vehicle can be driven annually at 22,500 to prevent overuse and a premature death.

Chief Daniel Hunsinger said $6,000 seized in a drug bust will cover the down payment and he wants to sell a two older vehicles that are nearly shot. The new Expedition will join a 2011 Ford Crown Victoria with 25,000 miles on it and a 2010 Dodge Charger that has 85,000 miles on it and has been breaking down a lot.

The hire of two part-time officers — one of whom works for Exeter police and the other a retired Kingston police officer — was approved pending their successful completion of background checks and other requirements.

Councilman Frank Michaels said he recently attended a conference at which an attorney, who spoke on municipal hiring practices, recommended that municipalities conduct criminal, medical, financial and psychological background checks on all administrative/supervisory job candidates.

Michaels tried making a motion to have the borough begin this practice in the near future, but it was quickly met with concerns from Robert Craig and Karen Martinelli, who questioned whether it could actually put the borough at greater legal risk as well as the cost.

Chacke said it’s now common for employers to make such checks, noting that his current employer made them before he was hired, and there was nothing illegal or unconstitutional about requiring them as a condition of employment.

Michaels said he had no problem with the borough manager checking on the potential costs before putting it to a vote.

Craig noted after the meeting that Families for Forty Fort Park group is seeking volunteers for upcoming events. Anyone interested should try to attend a meeting at 7:30 tonight at the park.

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