Finance board to hold special meeting to vote on more school officers
WESTPORT — The newly named first-ever Staples High School police officer Ed Wooldridge had a successful first week according to Superintendent Colleen Palmer, but the potential for two additional officers to be placed at Westport’s middle schools is still up in the air.
The Board of Finance (BOF) will hold a special meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 13 and vote, for the third time, on whether to fund the two additional officers.
The Board of Education (BOE) first called on the BOF to fund a $320,000 appropriation for the officers in July, but the BOF voted down that appropriation, as well as a second appropriation request of $2,600 for the officers brought before the board on Aug. 11.
Now, with a much lower appropriation request of $185,000, the BOE is hoping the third time is the charm and the BOF will now approve the officers.
The much lower appropriation is possible because the BOE is no longer asking to hire new officers for the positions but rather pay existing officers solely in overtime pay to work at the schools. The appropriation, then, is essentially for overtime pay for the police department.
Several of the BOE members believe the expense of the officers should fall to the town budget rather than the schools given the officer will be employed by Westport police, a town department.
Who will pay for the officers, if they are to be hired at all, will be hashed out at the BOF meeting on Sept. 13 at 7:30 in Westport Town Hall.
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