Why won’t the police union PBA #206 provide the Westwood Borough Council with a list of demands? How can we conduct contract negotiations with people who don’t put their demands in writing? It’s not surprising that negotiations have been unsuccessful. At the 8/16/05 Borough Council meeting, Mayor Wanner tells the PBA #206 attorney:
“It’s difficult to negotiate when I don’t know what your full demands are . . . No matter how many times we’ve requested it, we haven’t gotten a list of demands. We get subjective ideas and thoughts, but nothing specific that we can quantify.”
The PBA #206 attorney responds:
“If you want to make a representation to the public here that when I make a list of demands for you, that list won’t end up in The Record with conjectured estimates of what it might mean to budgets . . .”
Anybody in their right mind has to ask what the Westwood police have to hide. Why can’t the Council have a list of demands? Why can’t that list be made available to public scrutiny and conjecture? If the police truly were the noble and benevolent people they make themselves out to be, then they would be open and honest in their communication with the Borough that employs them.
Westwood has the largest police department in the entire Pascack Valley. Westwood is only 2.5 square miles in area. Westwood is not New York City. Westwood IS NOT ANY CITY. There is no crime in Westwood (or the Pascack Valley) to keep all of these cops we’ve employed busy. As a result, the Westwood cops have to drive around looking for things to do. This wastes lots of taxpayer money in the form of insurance, benefits, pension and retirement money, and other expenses like uniform reimbursement and training. Let’s not forget the damage this does to our reputation as Westwood becomes known as an unfriendly place to live or visit.
We have too many cops, too many police vehicles, too many gadgets for them to play with, and not enough tax dollars to support the burden. Property taxes are at an all-time high, and will never decrease. Westwood doesn’t need the largest and most overpaid police department in the Valley. Westwood needs to reduce the size of the police department just like any other business would cut unnecessary expenses when finances are tight. The money we save can go towards property tax relief and towards some of the more valuable services to the community such as the public schools and the DPW. It’s that simple. Stop the nonsense.
by Mr. Westwood