Council will rescind the Body Armor Policy at its regular meeting on Monday. This decision comes seven months after the previous council unanimously re-affirmed the body armor policy.
When Donald Clyde was mayor (2006-2009), he initiated a policy allowing officers to sign a release form allowing them to not wear armor and contradicting council’s body armor policy.
According to Borough Solicitor Ed Leymarie, the police union filed a grievance against the body armor policy, and the court upheld Clyde’s policy. Thus, council will be rescinding the motion.
In response to a question from visitor Dave McQuade, Leymarie said the court ruled the body armor policy an unfair labor practice that must be decided in contract negotiations. In addition, police officers not wearing body armor who are hurt in the line of duty will be able to receive worker’s compensation.
Also on Monday, council will pass a resolution “supporting the use of safety equipment provided by the Borough to its employees.”
Council President Connie MacDonald said that this resolution, unlike the body armor policy, affects all borough employees and all safety equipment issued.
In response to visitor questions about the effectiveness of such a resolution, council member George Celli said the motion will simply say “council strongly recommends” the use of safety equipment provided by the borough.
Library Parking Lease
A lease with the Ellwood City Area Public Library concerning a parking lot on Second and Lawrence will be tabled pending further clarification. The parking lot is currently under construction, following demolition of buildings last fall. The lot will be metered and primarily, but not exclusively, for the library.
Celli asked if the borough would be required to pay the library for the lease. Borough Manager Bob Villella said that the arrangement was to provide meters and plow the lot in the winter.
“A monthly fee was never discussed, but now that you brought it up, they [library committee] might,” Villella joked.
Council member Brad Ovial asked for a copy of the written terms and council member Marilyn Mancini asked for an insurance certificate. The motion will probably be postponed until these documents are procured.
There will be a zoning hearing on June 27 at 5 p.m. to discuss the new zoning ordinances. All community members are encouraged to attend.
“It took us many years of planning to re-organize the zoning, and it won’t be perfect,” MacDonald said. ” As a former zoning officer, I know a large downtown can be problematic.”
Dance Party Success
A borough-sponsored middle-school dance party at the Ewing Park pool was a success, according to Mancini who helped organize the event. Mancini said the kids requested additional dances, and she hopes to hold at least one a month for the rest of the summer.