HUBBARD TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – There is still no answer on how to fund the Hubbard Township Police Department. Trustees have had to take money out of the general fund to pay police wages and there is still no paid overtime.
Talks are still going on between the Fraternal Order of Police and trustees, and the heated debate continued Monday night at a trustees meeting.
“I think it’s about time we stop playing games,” said Don Newell, a member of Friends of Hubbard Township Police, a committee put together by residents.
Committee members say they are attempting to work with the trustees to help solve the problem.
Trustee Tom Jacobs was the only one who showed up to one of the committee’s meetings, even though trustee Rick Hernandez directly deals with the police.
Hernandez: “I had mentioned and I talked to Donnie early on about it. Any information that you may have, if you would like to report it to me, we’ll look at it, we’ll discuss it.”
Crowd member: “Why won’t you come to a meeting?”
Hernandez: “Because I’m not going to attend the meetings.”
Crowd member: “Because you don’t care!”
Hernandez: “No, I do care.”
Trustee Fred Hanley didn’t speak up.
Former Township Police Chief Ray Moffitt was brought in as a liaison for the trustees and the citizens’ committee, but because he lives in the city of Hubbard now, some took exception to it.
“Also, maybe you can explain to me why a city resident was appointed to a consultant advisory position within a township. We have several township residents that could have done that,” said Sgt. Ronald Fusco.
Jacobs said it’s because of similarities.
“We felt a former chief, and I think we all agree, would be helpful in negotiations with the police. He knows the laws. He can relate to you guys,” Jacobs said.
Fusco said the former chief won’t be talking to any union members. He also questioned why Moffitt went to the trustees to volunteer.
Moffitt said he just wanted to help.
“So I came to them, I don’t know why, Mr. Fusco. I just decided to go to them but it was about you, it wasn’t about anyone else. I was trying to help. If I was wrong, I’m sorry,” Moffitt said.
As of now, the state is doing a performance audit on the township. The trustees hope to have it back by March.