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Police hiring about-face

Council subcommittee recommends new officer

Al Vecchia (click for larger version)
September 01, 2009
SOUTHBRIDGE — Reversing their stance, the Protection of Persons and Property subcommittee voted 3-2 to recommend hiring another new police officer October 1 and, if finances look good by then, indicated interest in hiring a second around Nov. 1

The two officers had been requested by Police Chief Daniel Charette last month, but were unanimously put on hold for three months then. Two committee members — Steven Lazo and Conrad Vandal — voted against the hiring, saying they wanted to maintain the three-month delay to see what the state will do.

Lazo decried the fact this issue was even coming up now as "shenanigans," but Chairman Al Vecchia said he proposed it at the last council meeting because he had gotten what he wanted then — $155,000 in other cuts from the police budget, among other cuts.

"I am always trying to keep the budget down," Vecchia said when the meeting began. "I have had many conversations with the town manager and he has ensured me that there will only be a small real estate tax increase and no increase in the water and sewer rates. My interest is in the bottom line and what our tax rate will be set at in December."

See Thursday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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