Police Station & Raises

One of the things I’ve been meaning to ask about the FY2012 budget, but simply did not get around to, is about the total in staff pay raises included in the budget.

We supposedly MUST raise taxes to build a police station. What if we extended the pay freeze a couple more years, as we see in the real world? Would we need to raise taxes for the police station in that case?

Or, as an alert reader has posed it to me today: Is the proposed tax hike really about giving raises?

I have posed the question to council members via e-mail and hope someone will ask it.

4 thoughts on “Police Station & Raises”

  1. There should be no new hiring of administrative personel especially an Asst. Manager aka. procurement officer. Pay raises must be frozen for administrative as many in the private sector are having hours cut and salaries renegotiated in order to be able to keep the job they have.

    There is a major reset going on in the world right now and unfortunately we are at that point that the council and mayor need to take things a little bit more seriously than they currently are. Letting essential service staff go but hiring additional administrative staff is kind of back arsewards if I may say. Less indians on the payroll but more chiefs being hired makes no sense. Wouldn’t happen in a private business but the City of DeKalb seems to have no problem justifying their actions.

  2. This is duplicated from DeKalb County Online. I feel there are many questions that need to be asked and no one on the council especially the mayor are asking them. I feel that it is entirely wrong to proceed with questions about the direction the city will take with the new police and not invite the original committee of local citizens who sat on the advisory panel to study the police station, their needs, and the proposed site with square footage and funding being two of the major questions they were asked to provide a recommendation to mayor and council. All who volunteer should be appalled

  3. continued………… that a group was asked to volunteer their time and now not be recognized at all.

    I was a member of the original citizens committee put together to provide a recommendation to the mayor and city council on size for the police station.

    First, let’s clarify some points here. The committee was not allowed to discuss location as Chief Feithen informed us that the Lincoln Hwy. site was the site we were to use for the purpose of deciding on building size.

    Second, we were not to discuss the architect as they architect was already decided on and that we were to listen and decide upon the architect’s recommendations especially to size needed for certain areas in the police station.

    Many, many funding ideas were discussed but many of the ideas were instantly knocked down by Chief Feithen or Asst. City Manager Rudy Espiritu. In other words it is really fair to say that I felt that the committee’s hands were tied with respect to really deciding fair and equitable solutions.

    My observations for what they may be worth.

    1. Our police department is desperately in need of space within the police station to help perform their duties to the fullest.
    (Remember now, that they the current station has only 17,500 square feet of space. Also to note that the space is a hodge podge of space NOT all originally designed for the purpose of police work)

    2. One of Chief Feithen’s original complaints was the 911/radio dispatcher room. This room has recently been remodeled and added on and is now a state of the art facility. I believe that it is now one of three used in DeKalb County along with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s 911 center and NIU’s radio room. Many other communities have closed their radio rooms and consolidated with the County – maybe an idea for DeKalb down the road.

    3. If a real architect that was truly tops at what they do was to be given 17,500 square feet to design and incorporate the needs for DeKalb’s police station, I personally feel that he would only require another 11 to 13,000 square feet to pull off a facility that would be beyond what the department requires. Properly utilizing this square footage and designing the square footage for police use only is very doable. I always have problems with architects who get paid on based primarily on square footage designed and the amount of construction costs (costs which of course grow with more square footage constructed).

    4. No one can use the 17,500 square feet as a reference point to say that 17,500 square is too small. It is all in how that space is utilized. Is it actual usable space or just hallways? Is it a 300 square foot room with no wall space? Is it all windows and doors with no designated walk paths? Sometimes, basic is better. It is more efficient more of the time than not. Extravagance is the culprit many times in excess space that is good for nothing but added maintenance costs.

    5. Those proponents for the bigger station of 56,000 square feet truly have NO clue on what 56,000 square feet is. Their only point of reference for this 56,000 is solely the ARCHITECTS recommendation (who by the way gets paid based on square footage). My point of reference for 56,000 square feet is Schnuck’s grocery store here in DeKalb. It has 53,000 square feet open to customers for shopping (additional square footage for storage etc that we can’t see). Go walk thru Schnuck’s, aisle by aisle, corner by corner, front to rear and you tell me what the heck our police are going to do with 56,000 square feet? Be smart not greedy, be practical and not dreamy, let’s use hard to find dollars with extreme prejudice, not like typical government does.

    6. Smart use of dollars will give our police officer’s the police station they desperately need, smart use of dollars can also mean better equipment for their protection on the streets, better vehicles and radios for support, and maybe just maybe enough money to give the department an adequate number of officers to provide the level of safety this community requires and that the officer’s themselves would have for backup when needed.

    7. Lastly, why hasn’t there been a traffic study performed for the Lincoln Hwy. location. Please do not tell me that there hasn’t been adequate time. First, I cannot believe that a study wasn’t performed before spending over $1 million for the location. Every developer that proposes a development or major building project in DeKalb is required under the current Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) to provide this study. I’m going to say that I might even think that the State of Illinois may require it due to Route 38 being involved here. What gives the city special exemption? One of the reasons for this study is for safety of drivers and pedestrians.

    Also important to note. I asked during a committee meeting about the ability to provide a 2nd access to this Lincoln Hwy location. I suggested working with the railroad to provide a access to the rear by having a underpass built under the tracks to provide access to the south. The reply from then Public Works Manager Rick Monas was that this was not a feasible idea due to the complexity of working with Union Pacific and the costs involved. If this station is built, it is more than just common sense, it is a priority that a police station have more than one entrance/exit point. There is no room for discussion on this need.

    It is a shame that it has taken over 16 years for the city council to try to remedy the needs of the police and their police station. I also wish to point out that current Alderman Dave Baker and current mayor and former alderman Kris Povlsen have both been involved with the council as long as this police station has been a question and have also been involved with the many times this topic has been shelved. Talk about not being able to get something of urgency resolved.

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