Friday, May 2, 2008
More than 40 elected officials, municipal managers and public safety chiefs gathered downtown today to talk about ways to consolidate fire and police services. County Executive Dan Onorato who says he wants the municipalities to look at this type of consolidation to save money ran the meeting. Onorato admits that the consolidations would all be voluntary. He says he hopes to be able to find state or federal funding to create an incentive to make the step. He says most of those at the meeting were receptive to the idea but they had concerns about how such mergers would actual happen. They are concerned about merging different pay rates, retirement packages and union rules. They are also concerned about having to layoff workers. Onorato says solutions can be found for all of those issues. Onorato says he will take his merger crusade to the next chiefs of police meeting and to regional government meetings.