In a long and at-times contentious meeting, the Taylorville City Council Finance Committee Tuesday night recommended to the full City Council, the agreement for the Taylorville School District to re-imburse the city for 176 days at an agreed-to hourly rate, for use of a Taylorville police officer during the school year as a school resource officer.
Finance Committee chair Larry Budd, along with committee members Earl Walters and Bruce Jones, voted to recommend the agreement to the full City Council. Alderman Lee Lanzotti voted against the measure, citing concerns that the city would be footing more of the bill than it should.
The bone of contention thru-out the meeting, was the fact the School District was not re-imbursing the City for health insurance and other benefits, during the hours they were paying for the city-employed police officer. Committee chair Budd expressed financial concerns at the start of the discussion.
Mayor Bruce Barry explained to the Council, that the proposal was not costing the City any money, and was re-imbursing the City for a portion of the hourly wages of the city-employed police officer.
Alderman Martin Vota presented minutes from the Council's Emergency Service Committee meeting October 5th of last year, which stated that the last police car being purchased would be for school functions. Vota questionned whether the car would be used by the proposed school resource officer, and this brought a testy exchange between Vota, Mayor Barry, and Alderman Budd.
The Taylorville Council voted in their last meeting, to table the school resource officer issue, pending the outcome of Tuesday night's Finance Committee meeting. The proposal now heads for the full Council again, at their May 21st meeting.
Here is the full audio of the school resource officer discussion Tuesday night: