Milford City Council reviewed details on the mission of the newly established Police Facility Citizens Advisory Committee at their regular meeting on Mar. 8. The committee is tasked with oversight of the design and costs for the new police facility whose funding was approved by referendum in January.
“Over the past two weeks, we have drafted and solidified the mission of this committee,” Mark Whitfield, City Manager, said. “We have also been able to determine who members of the committee are, who handles the minutes and who the committee will report to. Councilman Mike Boyle was added as a liaison between the Police Committee and the advisory council.”
According to information provided to council, the committee was established under City Charter after the approval of a borrowing bond of up to $20 million and the selection of a design professional who has begun designing the new police station. Whitfield explained that although voters approved borrowing up to $20 million, the cost of the new station is expected to be much less. The advisory committee will review plans for the new facility and present final plans to council for approval before bids are solicited to build the new station. Once construction begins, the advisory committee will meet to receive updates on the construction and will remain in place until the building is completed.
“The one question I have in reading this is that it says the final plans will be submitted to council for approval based on the recommendation of the committee,” Councilman Doug Morrow said. “Where does the chief and city manager fit into that? I would suggest that the wording be changed that the final project be submitted to the Chief of Police and he would present it to council.”
Whitfield explained that the committee is only advising council and that they would simply be making a recommendation.
“It does indicate that the staff report provided by the committee would include comments from the chief as well as the city manager, finance manager, public works and others,” David Rutt, City Solicitor, said. “So, there will be a lot of input there. I do see what you are saying, it looks like this committee is the final word, but you are the ones with the final word. You could take the recommendation of the committee and throw it out the window. I would not recommend it, but you could. I imagine when this does come to council, you will hear from both the chief and the finance manager.”
Committee members from Ward 1 include Gloria Markowitz, Vivian Erickson and Charles Temparali. Ward 2 will be represented by David Mills and Gary Downes. Nicholas Brannog will represent Ward 3 and Jeanel Starling will represent Ward 4. Mayor Archie Campbell will serve as chair and the committee will meet at least monthly. Agendas will be created and published, and minutes will be recorded by the Police Chief Administrative Assistant with copies provided to council. Councilman Brian Baer asked why one ward had three members while others only had one.
“Very easy, Brian,” Mayor Campbell said. “People don’t want to step up. That is why our election was cancelled because no one wants to step up.” Councilman Baer commented that he had someone from Ward 3 who was interested in serving and Mayor Campbell asked that the councilman provide the information to him so the interested person could be approached about serving.