Town Board Supervisor Speaks Out About Drug Task Force Officer
Pointed words from Ellicott Town Board Supervisor Patrick McLaughlin who sat down with WNY News Now on Thursday to discuss Ellicott’s Departure from the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force.
“I do not want to hear that we cut somebody off the task force, I have told you, the town board voted not to replace a full-time officer that retired the decision to remove the person from the drug task force is the decision made by the police chief. We do not micromanage that department; he has this many officers, he has as many dollars, you schedule accordingly. I’m sorry but if you cannot run that department with one less officer and maintain that that drug task officer that is not on the shoulders of that town board. That is the person who is in charge of that police force, schedules it accordingly and that that’s the way it is” said McLaughlin
“I do have an obligation to the taxpayers, by law I have an obligation, okay, understand that. I did not recommend to the town council that we replace that full-time officer because the pay involved for a full-time officer with benefits which include the hospitalization and retirement would have put us well over our tax cap. Without that officer we were about $2,000 of a four million dollar budget under the tax cap” explained McLaughlin.
Ellicott police chief William Ohnmeiss reacting this morning to McLaughlin’s comments saying this is more than a numbers game.
“I respect that he’s looking at it from a dollars-and-cents point of view, that’s their job. However, it’s the bigger picture, what is best and what is needed for the community. I’ve had boards in the past where budgets have been cut, every sheriff and chief has felt that. I don’t like that they then try to say that we didn’t cut the position because it was clearly advised to them by myself in budget meetings that if that position wasn’t funded because I was back feeling it was part-time officers, that it would have to end. It’s smoking and mirrors political jargon” according to Ohnmeiss.
Heroin Forum Draws Big Crowd
On Thursday night, the American association of university women, Jamestown branches hosted a heroin forum at the Prendergast Library. Dr. Lillian Ney, who sits on the board at the mental health association of Chautauqua County, says WCA UPMC will host a long term drug treatment with space for 28 beds.
“This is astounding that our county’s been able to do that, obviously with the help of advocacy that’s been going on the last three years with our legislators. This is a real blessing because recovery is a long-term process because of structural changes that have to occur in the brain” said Dr. Nay.
Kia Briggs, the executive director of the mental health association, told us she was a little overwhelmed at first when addressing the crowd as the keynote speaker but was pleased with the turnout and community support to break the stigma.
Trump’s Historic Moment Arrives
Last night, the sky lit up with fireworks and today the city is still very much buzzing with energy as Washington gets set to swear-in the 45th President. Ditching the typical political script helped get Trump elected, but for his inauguration, he’s going mostly by the book. The number of Democratic Congress Members who are boycotting today’s inauguration is now more than 60. That’s the second largest inaugural boycott by Congress in U.S. History. Now, this morning Donald Trump will wake up at Blair House, just across the street from the White House. He will attend a prayer service nearby, and then he’ll have coffee with the Obama at the White House before heading down Pennsylvania Avenue, to the Capitol to be sworn in.