After reading your story concerning the Albany Police Department, I must say I’m a little disappointed that you didn’t contact either myself, as president of Village Council, or the mayor to verify or expand on a few of the points mentioned in your story.
While everything you wrote that occurred during the Feb. 19 meeting was factually correct, I thought it would have been fair to the village and the Village Council to explain that Officer Morris, as a reserve officer, was only required to work in the village for 16 hours per month or an average of four hours per week. He did work a few additional hours on a temporary basis as defined in Village Ordinance 2019-37. While this arrangement was set to end on Nov. 30, 2019, council did permit it to continue on a day-to-day basis until a new marshal was appointed.
Therefore, his “demotion” is not an actual fact as he was only being paid as set forth in this ordinance and was simply returned to his prior position as a reserve officer. Somewhere along the line, as mentioned, he decided to resign that position.
I’d also like to say that Sgt. Calendine and others in 2018 and before have removed many drugs off of the streets and conducted several important drug investigations resulting in arrests. Those officers are very accomplished at keeping drugs out of our community and off the streets of Albany. The unexpected loss of Max (the canine officer) does not mean that Albany will become a haven for drug abuse.
The mayor and the Albany Police Committee conducted interviews for the village marshall position and council appointed Mr. Bumbalough based on those interviews.
The comments from former Marshal Deardorff fail to mention that the residents of Albany support the Police Department with two police levies, which, at that time, were for 0.5 and 1.5 mils. The total police budget for a year is about $50,000 to cover wages, insurance, Workers Comp. premiums, vehicle and equipment maintenance, supplies and numerous other expenses that may be incurred.
The village provides for, by ordinance, a total of 45 paid hours of protection per week. Mr. Deardorff did become upset with the mayor and council because many of his requests simply could not be funded with such a limited budget and he chose to resign. One of the sworn duties of an elected official is to be fiscally responsible, and I feel that staying within our various budgets and spending tax dollars as such is what we focus on first and foremost.
Social media provides a place for people to provide comments about things they usually know little about, and they are not required to provide anything to back up those comments as being true or factual. Many of these comments are one-sided as well. Many people who leave these comments aren’t even residents of the Village, and sometimes hurtful things are said. I promise you and all village residents that Village Council and the mayor try very hard to always provide the best services and community that we can. It’s sad actually that our meetings most times have zero residents in the audience.
The Albany Village Council works very hard with a very limited budget to make Albany a safe and inviting community with an eye for economic development that will surely provide growth and funds for an even better community. This is a community where people want to raise their families, educate their children and enjoy their recreation time.
As media representatives, you have a duty to report to our community and to provide all of the facts when reporting on issues of public interests. There are many good things happening in Albany that rarely get this much attention.
Please know I am always available to you to answer questions or to provide insight into our projects. Even if it kills me, I will see Albany grow and develop and make itself an even better community bringing together the Alexander Local School District, Hocking College and the village in an even bigger and better way than ever before.
Editor’s note: Neal Reynolds serves as president of the Albany Village Council.