members were split Monday night over the decision to issue a company car to Public Safety Director Michael P. King. But in the end, the top police administrator will get one.
Committeeman John Rooney, who is the liaison to the , said revenue is up nearly 75 percent over last year and it won’t cost more than $5,000 for King to have the car.
Or else, Rooney said, he’d pay the overage out of his own pocket.
“Our accolades for [King] have just been absolutely beyond words,” Rooney said.
The praise for King didn’t stop with Rooney; all township committee members agreed he’s turned the police department around, however some were unsure if changing township policy to allow the car was the way to go.
Deputy Mayor Anthony Minniti was skeptical about the vehicle issuance saying, “I can easily say yes as easily as I could say no.”
“The next clamoring is why are we buying cars instead of cops,” said Minniti, admitting the backlash from the public could be substantial.
Rooney said there is already a car available for King, and George Haeuber, interim township administrator, said the only extra costs would be gas and maintenance.
Committeewoman Kathy Fitzpatrick wanted to see more hard numbers before voting one way or the other. Fitzpatrick abstained from the final vote.
Committeeman Ben Young said he didn’t have a problem with King having a car but questioned the departure from policy.
Mayor Don Brauckmann said the issue “is not as easy as it sounds.”
“I have a tough time drawing the line from one employee to another when it comes to this benefit,” Brauckmann said.
Currently, township committee members are interviewing for a new administrator, but the idea of a company car had not yet been discussed, according to Fitzpatrick.
Rooney called the issuance of the car “appropriate” for King and that “he’s earned it.”
King after the .
Lt. Tim Young, who was present at the committee meeting, told members he doesn’t “have a bad word to say” about King.
Rooney brought up the idea for King to have a company car initially since King is needed in the township way beyond the normal 9-to-5 schedule.
King said it would make his life easier and his job “more effective” and “more efficient.”
“I’m coming (for emergencies) whether you give me a car or not,” King said.
The vote passed 3-1 with one abstention from Fitzpatrick. Brauckmann voted no.
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