However, City Councilor Thomas Stanley, who is also a state representative, said the mayor should have started the process even sooner.
“I think the city should have initiated this seven months ago,” he said. “The city should have acted and not waited, and I don’t think we should be waiting any longer.”
Some councilors say they have noticed an influx of calls from city taxpayers concerned about having to pay a hefty salary to a police chief who has been suspended from his job.
“I can understand the people are unhappy that public funds are being expended,” said the council’s president, Robert Waddick. “Certainly, nobody wants to see the waste of public funds, but we also have to understand there’s such a thing as due process. This will be resolved ultimately at some point.”
Councilor Joseph Vizard said the whole situation has led him to believe the city should take a second look at the powers of the police chief, and make the appointed lifetime position more accountable to city government.
“People have a right to be concerned that we have someone making such a high salary who has been on leave for so long,” Vizard said. “Anything we can do to alleviate that financial burden on them, we should be doing.”
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.