Monroeville mayor vetoes police contract
A new police contract was denied Tuesday by Monroeville Council.
Mayor Greg Erosenko vetoed the contract and the motion was upheld by councilmen Nick Gresock, Jim Johns and Steve Duncan.
Council members Lois Drumheller, Diane Allison and Clarence Ramsey voted to overturn the veto and approve the contract. Councilman Bernhard Erb was not present at the meeting.
The current contract does not expire until December 2014.
The new contract — which would have voided the final months of the previous deal — was approved, 4-3, in October by Drumheller, Allison, Ramsey and Erb.
“Within seven weeks, you have a new council coming in,” Erosenko said.
“It's not fair for the outgoing majority to negotiate when there's 14 months left on the current contract.”
Five votes were required to overturn the veto and approve the contract, according to the town's home rule charter.
The contract would have included no wage increases over the next four years except for cost-of-living increases, officials said.
“The mayor's reasons for vetoing the police contract do not make much sense because you can't get much lower than a zero increase,” Allison said.
“Furthermore, the newly-elected council would still be able to take part in police contract negotiations before their first term would end. I think that he waited because he did not want to risk alienating the police officers before his election.”
Erosenko said he hadn't looked at the contract until after the election because he was too busy campaigning.
“I never sat down and really read it,” Erosenko said last Friday. “I read it over the last couple days.”
Duncan, Johns and Gresock voted against the contract last month.
Gresock said that based on the fact that police salaries in Monroeville are among the highest in the state and that there has been an annual budget deficit in recent years, there should have been more discussion about potentially lowering the salaries of police officers hired in the future, while maintaining the pay structure for current officers.
Monroeville's police department has about 45 police officers for a town of 28,000 people
Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com and 412-856-7400, ext. 8755.