Darien OKs hiring of new officer
DARIEN Hiring new workers is one thing, but paying them is another.
On Monday, Darien village trustees approved hiring a new police officer.
However, the trustees still have to approve the budget maneuver needed to pay the officer in question.
The Darien Police Department has been short an officer for more than a month, and Chief Hunter Gilmore has been filling in with part-time officers.
The cost of a new officer from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31 would be about $24,000.
Village Administrator Diana Dykstra told the board that the village's contingency fund had a negative balance and other accounts also were overrun.
Overall, the village is running about 12 percent over budget, she said.
Dykstra suggested that the board use money set aside for a sewer loan payment to pay for the new officer.
The money might not be needed because the water and sewer department was "holding its own," she said.
Trustee James Abbott expressed concern about the end result of shifting money around to accommodate a new officer.
Budgeting means planning for the whole year, he said.
Other trustees pointed out that the police department had to pay out for vacation and sick time for the employee that left, and that meant additional costs to the department.
Part of this problem came from not having a fund set up to cover those kinds of costs, trustee Robert Wenzel said.
The board approved the new hire, with Abbott the only dissenting vote.
The resolution to move the money will come back to the board at its next meeting.
In other business, the board honored police officer Charles Lankford for 20 years of service.
The board was also set to discuss a request from Gilmore to waive the village nepotism policy to hire his son, but the younger Gilmore has since found another job.
"I've been in places where nepotism hasn't been a problem and places where it wasn't a good thing, so I understand the board's concerns," Gilmore said.