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Committeeman: King's Car Was in Budget, but Was Overlooked

John Rooney contends a car for Cinnaminson's police director was in the budget, but the rest of committee overlooked it.

Committeeman John Rooney said Friday that it’s entirely possible the rest of township committee did not know about a new car for the township’s public safety director, but the information was there nevertheless.

“Should they have known? Absolutely they should have known,” Rooney said. “The data was there for them to read.”

Earlier this week, voted 3-1 (with one abstention) for the , public safety director. It wasn't until after that four out of five township committee members , not an old Dodge Durango he had been using.

The Charger was part of a new fleet of police vehicles approved earlier this year by township committee. Mayor Don Brauckmann said he, Deputy Mayor Anthony Minniti, Committeeman Ben Young and Committeewoman Kathy Fitzpatrick did not know that line item on the budget was a car specifically for King.

Brauckmann and Fitzpatrick are part of a budget subcommittee that met with Gerry Seneski, then township administrator and chief financial officer, to discuss the budget.

Included in the police department’s “wish list” were nine new vehicles.

“[Seneski] relayed what the department heads were asking for,” Brauckmann said. “We go line by line, item by item, but it was never indicated that the vehicle was going to be for Mickey King.”

Township committee approved the request in the budget vote on April 16 and in a resolution after that.

“We didn’t really hash it out,” Brauckmann said on behalf of the other three aforementioned committee members. ”When the resolution came through, no one asked.”

During the budget process, Seneski first meets with department heads—in this case, King with the . King said the request for the unmarked Charger with no police equipment was in there. Seneski OK'd the request and brought it to committee for review and final vote.

Rooney said he doesn’t remember knowing about King’s car at that time but did know it when he voted for the resolution to authorize the contract.

“I definitely knew when I read the resolution,” Rooney said.

On the resolution, there are two V6 Dodge Chargers—one with $6,000 of equipment, the other with no equipment. The latter is King’s car.

“We all should have known. If we don’t read, [we won’t know],” Rooney said. “Did I know that [the rest of committee] didn’t know? No.”

Rooney initially brought up the idea of King’s 24-hour use of the car calling it “appropriate” for someone in his position.

For example, King—who is in a civilian, not police, position—was called to the township on a Sunday night when a in .

“In some cases, if police officers ... could be hurt or threatened, or there might be a press release, [King] needs to be on site,” Rooney said. “We’ve had officers hurt on the job, he’s got to be there for those.”

Rooney also used the example of .

“Those are his duties to respond to and be the person on site to coordinate activities,” he added. “In a lot of the cases, those things consume all of our resources on site—someone has to be able to coordinate.”

However, King told Brauckmann Thursday he declines the 24-hour use of the Charger. Township committee will discuss the future of the vehicle.

Purnell Ave. August 11, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Line by line, item by item? Give me a break! Break up the good ole boys club!!
John Obuchowski August 11, 2012 at 01:03 PM
As anyone ever heard of a "Top Boss" being given a "Used Taxi" w/150,000 miles as a perk. The Twp. Committee hired former Chief King to be our Directed of the CPD on call 24/7. Basic Math 101, shortest distance between 2 points, straight line. The.0001 % of negative comments on the other forum does not reflect the opinion of our 15,500+ residence. The Twp. Committee hired Chief King, now back him. Call Commissioner Ramsey, Phila. PD, I"m sure he has a "Used Taxi". No further comment.
T Mcdonald August 11, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Gotta agree this group has been together way toooooo longggggggg they have become out-of-touch. Nothing against them individually but, it's human nature they are just too comfortable and have fallen off the charts.
agent itchy August 11, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Mr Obuchowski, would you be this supportive if dems were in charge? i seriously doubt it. remove your republican bias and remember why you're a fiscal conservative. either cars are a wasteful perk or they're not. lots of people are on call 24/7. you dive your own car and you submit receipts to the IRS in April just like the rest of us.
Ed Jenkins August 11, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Chief King ??? I fid not know he was a Chief... Where sid you get that info Mr. Obuchowski and are you in touch with the 15500 residents ??? I recall you disagreeing with the Director position and now you seem to support it...
Bill C August 11, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Use of a township vehicle while in town doing township business is not the concern of people in my neighborhood that have discussed the issue. Providing a car for "personal use" going to and from work is the concern. Township gas, maintainence, depreciation, insurance and liability are the cost to the taxpayers here. No reason that King can't get to work like the rest of us. That car is not like a "Batman Mobile", his own car should get him there. And if on emergency call, he can submit for reimburstment. I don't blame King for asking for the vehicle, just the bad politions that allowed it while trusted with the taxpayers fiscal interests.
Sasha August 11, 2012 at 01:43 PM
same story different heading carefully look at the paperwork before voting it was a single car how hard is that stop the blame game
Mark August 11, 2012 at 01:52 PM
In the words of that dead POS Rodney King "Can't we all just get along?" LMAO Relax people. He is in a position that is given a vehicle. No different than any other town in America. Big deal, the way I see it, I'm glad to see where that money went and not some wasted pile of dirt! Mr King (Chief King) came into this town as an underdog already beaten down by most of you Patch folks. He has proved everyone wrong and has done a wonderful job. That is NOT to take away from the previous administrations that have held the Chiefs positions. Committeeman Rooney in My opinion is the only honest straight forward person on the committee. The others are completely out of touch! As they scramble to cover up their excuse of not knowing about a car they all signed for is weak. Don't put your name on a piece of paper if you don't know what's on it. That's basic things we learn in school!
Theresa brennen August 11, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Mark, he had a contract there was no car for personal use in it,case closed
Barbara A. Green August 11, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Here it is August 10th, and we still haven't received our tax bill for the new fiscal year? It seems to be the normal pattern, and not the exception, that the bills are late coming in.
Bill O'Connor August 11, 2012 at 03:40 PM
I always knew who was getting what car when I was on Committee. It appears that Committeeman Rooney did his due diligence and knew what he was voting on. John is leaving Committee for a reason. All of his counter parts on Committee are great at having amnesia at convenient times. Thank you John for your service to Cinnaminson for the past three years. As it relates to John O's post, Director King was a previous Police Officer and Commander before his retirement. Everyone I still talk to on the force like him and think he is doing a great job. I think it is great that Department is moving forward under his direction. We're talking about an extra 200 miles a week on this vehicle. A residents we should be more concerned about the other deals that this group is making on our behalf and the pieces that we don't know about. Nice job Christina and PATCH
John Obuchowski August 11, 2012 at 03:52 PM
I'm neither a registered "Dem or Rep.". Millitary & Para-Millitary respect is by earned title. Don't care what you think. Just imagine, on Nation TV, top boss arrives at a trauma center under camera's for a critically injured employee/resident in a "Used Taxi Cab" Cut me a Break ! Hey, maybe will can change the Twp. Name, Swamp Poodle, Mayberry RFD, Bo-Dunk. I personally have a lot respect for Chief (Dir.) King. Apparently, the vast majority of residents backed his hiring, Now Its Time to Support Him".
Cinnacide August 11, 2012 at 05:14 PM
This makes Watergate look like child's play.
John Sieger August 11, 2012 at 06:13 PM
have read most of the posts on this topic through the different phases of the blame gun being pointed and discharged and I feel ready to comment. I don't believe in bashing people so you won't read it here. Our committee members face decisions on a broad range of topics constantly. Many will feel they are doing a good job and many will say otherwise. I have no idea where my tax dollars go once they enter the municipal building, but I simply put my faith into their collective decision making processes. But I will be damned if I don't tell anyone who will hear my voice that I think it is NOT OK for the Cinnaminson PSD to have a vehicle to drive to and from home every day to Mercer county. For the extremely few times a year he will have to return to the township for after hours matters, he can be reimbursed for those expenses by filing a simple form. That my fellow townspeople would be the best and unquestionably fiscally responsible means of handling that matter. To think anyone on committee could confidently stand in front of any of the township's residents, many of whom finance their own commute to work each week, and sell this as a 'warranted' or 'justified' expense of that taxpayers' hard earned money would have to be without all of their common sense in grip.
John Sieger August 11, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Unfortunately, for a committee who would proclaim to have its residents and/or supportive voters' collective best interests in mind during each and every decision making process that takes place in that building, this fiscal irresponsibility calls their judgement and effectiveness into question. And then, statements like the one Mr O'Connor made above are unavoidable. The people will not, and frankly should not, trust the people making our town's decisions. I will leave you all with this.......... I truly wonder how much it would take to run this town if the person or persons in charge made decisions on spending and projects and contracts the same way many of us have to make these decisions with our own checkbooks!!! Truly this will never happen, but its nice to dream about it.
Ric August 11, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Excuse me but I do believe this discussion is about the car and not his job performance or a "top boss" at a trauma center. No one is advocating firing King, so what is your beef? By the way about your reference to a top boss, what the heck is that all about? How does that relate to a lowly township director?
John August 11, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Well Barbara, thats the way it goes all over the place....The houses are assessed to high and we pay taxes based on assessments that are not based on the VALUE of the house....I know of several HOUSES that are vacant and falling down with damages to the porch, fense and the bank owns it.....nothing ever changes HIGHER TAXES and we pay thru the nose....does not matter if your republican or democrate it never changes.....and do not put any branches or leaves out or the dept of public works will issue U a summons for littering....just great....
Ed Jenkins August 11, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Mr. Sieger, you sound like a candidate i would back ... You should run for office, seriously.
Someone who cares August 11, 2012 at 07:29 PM
I agree Ed, Mr. Seiger is absolutely correct. Mr. King (from what I hear and see) is doing a fine job. However, he lives about 40 minutes away in another County. Any kind of emergency where we actually need him to respond to is long gone and over by the time he arrives. Our officers are already trained to handle such emergencies and that is the reason we have Sergeants and Lieutenants. So basically, the vehicle, a brand new Dodge Charger is for his commute, which is absolutely ridiculous. I heard someone say he might have to pull up in a junker? What? The guy makes over $90k in pension and about 90k from his salary here. I don't think he's driving a Yugo! Also, what was said before by Rooney, "he raised revenue, so he has earned this", that is like a Police Officer getting commission on every ticket he writes! Could you imagine that!? Drive yourself to work Mr. King, and if you don't like the commute, move here!
JustALocalGuy August 11, 2012 at 09:14 PM
You've got to be kidding. Cinnaminson isn't anything like Philly, and hasn't got any business spending money on the aggrandizement of its public officials. As for the "used taxi" whining, give me a break. A car is a car, and this man serves at the pleasure of the taxpayer, NOT the other way round. There is, plain and simple, no reason he needs a township car t drive from Mercer county every day. Its a waste, as any fool can see. You know how we can back King? Pay him what he is due in his contract. That's it. Basic math 101, indeed.
JustALocalGuy August 11, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Title means nothing. Results are what matter. And if you think King is going to be on any national TV being interviewed with "his" car I would love to know what you are smoking. Besides that, why would the car he drives matter? Do you think appearances really matter in that context? Maybe you should worry more about your own issues than what someone outside our town thinks of the car the Public Safety Director drives from home to work. Remember that none of this says he can't use this car for his official duties, so your whole point about showing up on TV with a used taxi when he is "on duty" is ridiculous on its face. Of course he should use his township issued vehicle for official duties. Again, gifting a public official with a personal use vehicle "just because" is the opposite of fiscal conservatism, and something we just cannot afford. And that's even ignoring the incredibly shady and underhanded way this whole thing went down. Congrats to King for doing the right thing and declining the 24/7 use of the car.
Ed Jenkins August 12, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Dajoepa75, i believe you are mistaken, if you read carefully, the Mayor is the only one who nailed this one right on the head by voting NO. I believe you have some points but lets call right from wrong. We cant judge the committee as a whole, we should judge them by their decision making individually !!!
Bubba August 12, 2012 at 04:57 AM
Deny deny deny stick to the original story
Deborah Stevens August 12, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Do you think the commitee would not see the line item for our taxes and forget to collect this quarter....LOL
Ed Jenkins August 12, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Whats up Bubba ???

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