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Berkley Public Safety Contract Saves $47,000

The City Council recently approved an agreement with BPS Deputy Director Robert North that will keep him on board through July 16, 2013.

Berkley recently approved a one-year contract for Deputy Director Robert North that will save the city approximately $47,000.

Under the contract – which the City Council approved July 16 – North will be considered an at-will, nonunion employee with a salary reduction of approximately 5 percent and an increase in leave time.

North is retired from the department and receiving benefits, City Manager Jane Bais-DiSessa said Monday. Even so, keeping him on as a contract employee saves the city versus hiring someone new at full pay and with full benefits, she said.

"In terms of time and money, we're saving money," Bais-DiSessa said. "Just by him contracting alone, he has been able to save the city $47,000 and that's a significant amount of dollars the city doesn't have to pay."

She said that under the contract, North will not receive overtime, accrued leave or longevity pay. He will receive insurance through the city's retirement fund rather than its general fund under the contract that runs from July 17 through July 16, 2013, Bais-DiSessa said.

The contract stipulates that North "must continue to hold, State of Michigan certifications of Firefighter and Police officer."

"The Deputy Director is second in command of all operational function within the Public Safety Department and exercises supervisory control over its personnel, reporting only to the Director," the contract says.

North will be paid up to $73,566 for the year, or $35.3683 per hour, according to the contract; he also will receive 160 hours of leave and 80 hours of sick leave "to be utilized on a use it or lose it basis."

"I think we're all pleased that we're going to have him for at least another year," City Attorney Dale Schneider said.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify that BPS Deputy Director Robert North retired from the Berkley Public Safety Department.

M Kerby July 24, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Does anyone actually pay attention to what goes on at city hall? The full price for a command officer even with todays union concessions is almost double what we are paying for North. He is now a city contractor = no benefit package and legacy costs. It's basic buisiness 101. Our leadership team has cut corners and re-negotiated the union contracts to maximize the benefit for the taxpayer at the cost of our employees, many of whom are our friends and neighbors.Berkley's fiscal management is very impressive when compared directly to other cities in the area, I invite anyone to prove me wrong. Could some things have been managed better- of course, but the overall track record clearly speaks for itself. Berkley does more with less every single day. I will be supporting the increase because I do care about the quality of city I live in! If anyone wants some actual facts please contact our finance director his door is always open.
Lianne Mathie July 24, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Steve, I have looked at Berkley's finances and while I agree public sector employees have in the past, been given some cushy packages, I don't believe that is the case here. I have known many people that have been foreclosed on, the circumstances where through lose of jobs, greedy bankers unwilling to modify loans , inflated property values etc. My cost for this override, around 70 dollars.To keep my streets clean, pick up tree branches, haul away my yard waste spring and fall.To hire a private service to do just these few things would cost me far more. It's cost effective for me in that light. I would suggest that people look in to the actual cost of these services on the open market and weigh them against what the city is proposing. My big beef is up in Lansing where we pay our fine representatives full time pay with benefits for 180 days of work, If it were up to me I say cut the fat from the top down, the cities have been pinched and in turn, so are we by a bloated Lansing.
Rick E July 25, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Why does the Berkley Public Safety need a Director, Deputy Director, Lt. and 6 Sgts. for a department of 27 officers? The ratio is 1 supervisors to 2 officers. Eliminating the Deputy Director would save the city $120,000. Eliminate the two sgt positions. Combine the detective and juvenile division and eliminate one position. Reorganize and eliminate some ranks will not only save more money but put more officers on the road for patrol. If mutual aid with Highland Park is such a great asset, why is Berkley the only city in Oakland County involved. This a waste of department personnel and equipment. It time for the Director to stopped taking care of his buddies! This is just the tip of the money mismanagement. Take care of business before you ask for more money!
Steve Herrington July 25, 2012 at 06:49 PM
It's easy to ask for more money, it's time to make the tough cuts that nobody likes to do.
Richard Weed August 08, 2012 at 04:17 AM
Even better, get rid of this "director", whose reign has been highly questionable, and appoint North as Director. Millions will be saved as he will likely be less prone to invite litigation for wrongful death and ethnic discrimination as the current director has.

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