Flushing Twp. Board still mum on public safety plans
By Andrew Keller, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
FLUSHING TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -
The Flushing Township Board must figure out a plan for the future of its public safety. For now, the board voted to not appeal a ruling made by an arbitrator that said the township must put laid-off workers back to work.
Monday night, the board called for a special meeting. Board members spent the better part of the night behind closed doors discussing the police department's future and getting input from the township attorney.
"Things should be happening quickly," said Steven Moulton, who represents the city.
He would not elaborate on what the township has in store, and said he advised other board members to not comment until the legal process is complete.
The township's police department issue dates back a year when the board contracted the Genesee County Sheriff to patrol. The board expected to save money by getting rid of the local department. Just last month, an arbitrator ruled the township violated the labor contract when they got rid of the officers. Three officers laid off were ordered back to work. But a major problem the township is dealing with is the police department itself. Officials have already sold the township's police equipment.
"At this point and time I don't know what to expect," said Mike Cookingham, a township resident. "It's very irritating."
"They just have to take their time and weed through the issues, and they'll do a good job, so no, it's not annoying," resident Mary Mossman said.
Union representative Lloyd Whetstone said the fact the board is not appealing the arbitrator's decision may be a sign that there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
"I'm happy with the outcome. I can see where there's time to start negotiating the officers' return at this point," Whetstone said.
The township's contract with the sheriff's office expires March 31. Sheriff Robert Pickell has told TV5 he will continue to work with Flushing Township as they work out details of the arbitrator's ruling.
Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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