April 25, 2013 | Volume 43, Number 16

Courtesy to Lowe is insult to taxpayers

I understand now why the agreement between police chief Gary Lowe and the borough was kept under wraps until it was a done deal. Had we known what was being negotiated, there would have been an outcry. 

Why should we have to pay Lowe to leave his position after he verbally abused, bullied and intimidated his staff? If I were a police department employee, I would be offended that he was allowed as a “courtesy” to remain employed until June 17 in order to obtain retirement benefits. Why didn’t borough manager Mark Earnest extend equal “courtesy” to police department staff by immediately following up on its complaints against the chief?

If, indeed, Earnest’s failure to evaluate Lowe’s performance for four years is the reason the assembly chose to pay Lowe $53,000 to leave, why was Earnest then allowed to negotiate the deal? Why – now – not take that money out of Earnest’s paycheck? Or, does this mean that instead of closing the pool for three months to save $35,000 (as Earnest has recommended), it will now have to be closed for five and a half months to make up for the buyout he arranged?  

Why put money and effort into anti-bullying programs in our school, if we aren’t even willing to hold our police chief accountable for decent behavior? Whatever happened to the value of role models in the public sector? And, fiscal sense by our elected representatives?

In the future, I hope we will face up to, investigate and resolve problems in a more responsible way, rather than using money we don’t have to try to make them go away. 

Sharon Resnick