Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pontiac cops vote down union

Wednesday, the same day the state Senate passed a bill extending the powers of emergency managers -- including the power to dissolve unions -- the Pontiac Police officers voted to dissolve their union and allow Pontiac to contract for police services with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.

The House has already passed a similar bill and Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to sign the final version.

The 31 to 5 vote was taken Wednesday night during a meeting of the Michigan Association of Police, the union representing the patrol officers.

Pontiac's Emergency Financial Manager Michael Stampfler has been pushing for that contract since last fall.He says it will save the city $2 million a year.

The department’s staffing has been cut to 60 in recent years, from 175 sworn officers in 2005.

The vote is a surprise, but when you think about it, it makes sense: After all the new law will pave the way for the new contract with the Sheriff and the Pontiac patrol officers do want a shot at the jobs he will be filling. Who is he more likely to hire, those who fight to the bitter end or those who go quietly when the point of fighting is gone.

Readers had plenty to say about it:

Joe USA wrote on Mar 9, 2011 6:30 PM:
" Give it up. They had no choice. "

Adam Zapple wrote on Mar 9, 2011 6:37 PM:
" Exactly Joe USA.
While I have been a vocal supporter of the city contracting police service through the county, I am not a supporter of dissolving their union to do it. Now these poor souls will have little to no negotiating power going forward. It's no like the BS these cops deal with is going away.
FYI - The union was never the problem here. The state, county, and city of Pontiac politics have always been the problem. "

wolfpack48342 wrote on Mar 9, 2011 6:38 PM:
" It's about time they do something to protect the citizens of Pontiac cause everyone knows that they were only worried about their jobs, thats why it has teken them so long to finally let Oakland County step in. "

pipes wrote on Mar 9, 2011 7:31 PM:
" The Union was protecting legacy costs....back pay for vacation, sick time etc.....I don't blame them one bit for sticking by their guns (no pun intended). Hopefully those brave men and women will get a boss that will help them rather than concentrate on keeping his job....See Ya Val. "

wtf wrote on Mar 9, 2011 7:33 PM:
" Betcha Gross is P...ed! There goes his kingdom. "

bart_mancuso wrote on Mar 9, 2011 7:38 PM:
" The Sheriff is a Union shop, they will be well represented. So, don't cry any rivers for the PPD officers. So, who wins and who loses?

The PPD officers LOSE a traditional pension going forward. What they have already put in is safe, but everything going forward with the Sheriff will be a 401K type retirement - like most Americans have.

Some of the bad apple PPD officers with shady backgrounds or extensive diciplinary records will not get hired at the County, this is a LOSS for them but a WIN for the community and their co-workers who no longer have to be embarassed by that trash.

The PPD officers who do make the transition WIN with higher pay and career opportunities beyond their wildest imagination. They WIN with better training, better equipment and a new support structure that has the resources to back them up.

The citizens of Pontiac LOSE some bragging rights, a point of pride, and some of the shady politicians lose some of their influence over the police. Everything is on the up and up now, no more favors for cousin Joe or my sisters baby daddy.

The citizens WIN with safer streets, more bang for their taxpayer buck, and the new energy that the Sheriff will bring. Lives will be saved, crime will go down, and maybe even some businesses move in and propery values go up. The Sheriff must make progress or he will face the voters in the next election.

All in all, I put this in the win column. God bless Pontiac and all who call her home. "

English Breakfast wrote on Mar 9, 2011 10:16 PM:
" Since they won the temporary injunction and had a good chance of winning the extension on Tuesday, you would think they could have waited 6 days to vote.
Cause if they had won in court on Tuesday, there would have been no layoffs.

Oakland County will be making cutbacks this year and the Pontiac officers who do get hired will have no seniority and will be the first to get laid-off.
So they will just be laid-off by the County instead.
(All the checks come from MARVIN anyways) "

Jim wrote on Mar 9, 2011 10:39 PM:
" Thanks for the info, Bart. "

Waterford Resident wrote on Mar 9, 2011 11:27 PM:
" Oh English McMuffin,

Let me explain to you why this was not dumb on their part. In case you haven't been paying attention, there is a bill that is about to be passed in Michigan that will give the EFM the power to ignore contracts and city charters.

If they had voted no then they would have run the risk of this same result without any owed vacation pay.

Also, I don't know where you get the crazy idea that they had a chance of winning in court. That is "Dumb" "

bart_mancuso wrote on Mar 9, 2011 11:46 PM:
" Goodbye were part of the problem, not the solution. You can do no more damage.

Lets all hope that the Sheriff does a better job than the PPD did. If we run the criminals out of town, maybe we can stop the downward spiral and have a safe community again, then comes the employers, jobs, people moving in for the jobs, property values go up, then the schools get better. I know in my heart it can happen. This city CAN be great again! "

Sailor man wrote on Mar 10, 2011 6:00 AM:
" Well thank heavens there is still some cmmon sense in Pontiac. It's about time Chief Val Gross loses his throne,as the only thing that concerned him was him,and his security blanket. Now you may have to give up that confiscated Cadillac Mr. Gross. I bet you are heart broken ,eh? Willy P.? Bless all the fine Pontiac Police officers,welcomeOCSD! "

Sailor man wrote on Mar 10, 2011 6:03 AM:
" oops! I meant common sense! Bless all the good people of Pontiac-good-bye crime. "

furred wrote on Mar 10, 2011 7:10 AM:
" Silly me! I was always under the impression that the police were there to serve and protect, but it is quite obvious that through this whole ordeal, the number one concern is backpay and vacation time! "

waterfordmike wrote on Mar 10, 2011 8:33 AM:
" This is a great deal for the citizens of Pontiac, and for the cops.
Now they will have to get of of the underworked/overpaid way of working and get the job done.
The whole problem is that the supervisors/management and lazy union reps will also go the the county department, thus corruption.
The police can do so much, as our very LIBERAL judges in oakland county will continue to let criminals go, so they will not overcrowd the jail.
SHAME SHAME SHAME on the oc judges. "

alotonmymind wrote on Mar 10, 2011 8:46 AM:
" OK we will see how the OCS do... I bet they do no better job with 74 OCS than Pontiac did with 51. Next year they be asking for a million dollars more cause they need more resources to combat the crime in the city. Crime aint gonna stop cause the OCS is in town. hell they always been here, and what they do then. I see alot more tickets being handed out, more harassment on residents, and unneccessary arrest. The picture of Pontiac has already been painted as a slum to the surrounding communities. I know people who won't even come to Pontiac. how many of these sherrifs live in Pontiac. Most of these sherriffs are from those surrounding communities. All I can say is Pontiac good Luck with this. To the poor whites, blacks, and latinos that live in Pontiac you are now a target. Tell you all the truth. I see the crime going up and alot of unsolved crimes.

"Mass Incarceration In The Age Of Colorblindness":THE NEW JIM CROW LAW IS HERE...... "

furred wrote on Mar 10, 2011 9:04 AM:
" I tend to disagree that the crime will not at least curtail once the OCSD is in town. If you think for a MINUTE that the criminal element in Pontiac doesn't know that the PPD would turn a blind eye to their actions, you are crazy.
I think Val Gross has innocent blood on his hands because of his ego. "

alotonmymind wrote on Mar 10, 2011 9:05 AM:
" I believe that a Police Officer, Fireman, Teacher, and GI's should get paid more than Lawyers, Politicians, Judges, and Emergency Managers. They risk their lives for us to have freedom of speech, religion, etc. Everybody forgets about that. Also when i pick up the Oakland Press I see more crimes in the outer communities than in Pontiac. I hope im wrong and the OCS does a good job, but right now i don't see it. And to all those Pontiac Haters who don't come to Pontiac, I expect to see more of you now that OCS is Patroling the City. See You All Soon!!!!!!! "

Mort wrote on Mar 10, 2011 10:08 AM:
Will priave sector salaries rise with the demise of union? If you think that is so go back to your sweat shops and work for a dollar a day. The demise of unions will lead to lower "private sector" wages and benefits. Why can't you understand this simple concept? "

Had Enough wrote on Mar 10, 2011 10:15 AM:
" One of the things not discussed is the fact that the new emergency manager will now be able to get into all of the pension money and completely destroy the future of all retired people. Remember, this is a State law, so everyone else can hang on to their butts. Every retired person in this state will be getting the shaft. "

SMH wrote on Mar 10, 2011 10:22 AM:
" Gotta say it. I'm disappointed that the PPD union did not wait to vote until after their court date.

I wish all of them well, and would like to take this opportunity to thank them for a job well done in servicing this community.

Yeah Yeah haters we may have a couple of bad seeds in the bunch, but over all PPD had a good department.

Thank you officers for being there when I called. For putting yourselves on the line for a ungrateful community. I wish you all the best.

Lastly mayor, I hope you are really pleased with the results. You help to sell out the community that supported you. Good looking out. Job well done ...NOT! "

pontiac res wrote on Mar 10, 2011 11:12 AM:
" Good luck to all PPD Officers as they move forward to the OCSD. With the new Emergency Manager bill certain to pass and be signed by Gov. Synder they were left with no options. unfortunitly within the next two years the citizens of Pontiac will be delt another blow.

when the city is not able to afford the OCSD services and the number of patrol officers in the city gets reduced from approx: 74 to around where we are now. "

IWANTOUTHOMEOWNER wrote on Mar 10, 2011 12:30 PM:
" I pay city and property taxes in Ponticrack. I want my money spent wisely, meaning as many officers as we can get. I don't give a damn if we have our OWN police department or not. My number one concern, until I can get out, is safety. "

randrews wrote on Mar 10, 2011 12:36 PM:
" I agree with Mayor Jukowsky... it is a sad day for Pontiac, BUT... These are new times. The city come out ahead with cost containments, the citizens will come out with at least the same service levels, possibly improved, and the cops come out ahead with jobs and continuity of income if they have been performing well. As for the Chief, he simply does not get it. Oh he gets it alright, he is pretending to be hurt as he fights to protect his fiefdom while badmouthing the sheriff in telling the citizens they just got the short end of the stick. Meantime he has stalled all this time only driving the deficit up. Another selfish chief not able to tell right from wrong. Don't let the door hit ya . . . "


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