District/city agree on school cop dealThe Hudson School District has reached an agreement with the city of Hudson that will keep an armed police officer at Hudson High School and other school buildings.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
The Hudson School District has reached an agreement with the city of Hudson that will keep an armed police officer at Hudson High School and other school buildings.
District Director of Personnel Nancy Sweet told board members at their meeting May 12 that the contract beginning July 1 and running through Dec. 31, 2010, called for the district to pay 67 percent of the cost of the police school liaison officer and the city to pay 33 percent.
For the period from Jan. 1 to March 13 of this year, the district will pay 42 percent of the cost with the city paying 58 percent. From March 14 through June 30 of this year, the district will pay 60 percent and the city will pay 40 percent.
Sweet said the proposed new contract would mean that the district’s costs for the officer in 2009 would go up by approximately $17,000 and in 2010 by $26,690. Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten told the board that this is as far as the city would go in negotiations, and “if you don’t approve, there will be no school police liaison officer.”
The cost of the liaison officer, including salary, benefits and equipment, is $91,940 for 2009 and $96,139 for 2010.
Board member Mark Kaisersatt objected to the increase over the 50/50 split for 10 months in the old contract. Sweet told the board that a 50/50 split of the annual salary was what most of the surrounding districts paid for a police officer although she did say a few districts did pay more.
Kaisersatt said the district doesn’t have the additional money to give to the city, and he wanted to hold off on the contract to try to negotiate a better split than two-thirds.
“The 50/50 split is far more equitable. It is the prevailing rate around for the job because it is mutually beneficial for both parties.” A motion by Kaisersatt to send Sweet back for further negotiations failed.
Finance Committee Chairman Brian Bell said he appreciated concern that “we are being taken advantage of, but an armed police officer in the high school is something we need for security. I don’t like how we got here, but I support the new contract.”
Board President Dan Tjornehoj said the district tried to work toward a better deal with the city but said, “This is the best we could do.”
The contract was approved with Kaisersatt alone voting no. Board member Cindy Crimmins, who is married to Police School Liaison Officer Mark Crimmins, removed herself from the discussion and did not vote on the contract.