Ellicott To Begin Negotiations On Police Labor Deal

ELLICOTT – Negotiations on a new labor agreement between the Ellicott Police Department and the town will start soon.

The Ellicott Town Board formed a negotiating committee for the new labor agreement during its regular meeting. Cecil Miller, town supervisor, said the negotiating committee for the town will be Rob Heintzelman, Ward 2 councilman, William Wright Jr., town attorney, and himself. They will be negotiating with Chautauqua County’s Civil Service Employees Association.

Miller said the current contract expires at the end of 2013, and they generally renegotiate on a two-year contract. He said, in recent years, the two sides have been able to reach an agreement.

”I guess we’ve had relatively good success,” Miller said. ”By success, I mean the last couple contracts haven’t needed an arbitrator.”

Miller said there will be new leadership with the police union because of some retirements since the last negotiations.

”I look forward to sitting down and putting together a new contract as soon as possible,” Miller said.

According to the town website, www.townofellicott.com, the Ellicott Police Department has 12 full-time officers, four part-time officers and one clerk. They maintain a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week patrol via two or three patrol units on an east and west assignment basis. William L. Ohnmeiss Jr. is the Ellicott Police Department chief.

In other board business, there is nothing new when it comes to the problem of deer in West Ellicott. Miller said town officials are waiting to hear back from a state DEC officer for more information on what can be done with the overpopulation of deer.

During a June 3 Town Board meeting, Lisa Vanstrom, Ward 1 councilwoman, said she was told by a state Department of Environmental Conservation official the most affordable option would be the deer-damage permit program, which is also known as a “bait-and-shoot” program. She said the program would need to run sometime between Jan. 1 and the end of March because that is when the DEC allows it to be done. She said a plan would need to be developed for the town and submitted to the DEC to proceed with a deer-damage permit program. Heintzelman said town officials should get a group together to work on a plan to give to DEC officials. Vanstrom said if the program is done, it needs to be done for several years in order for the program to be effective.

The village of Celoron, which is in the town of Ellicott, held a DEC-approved, deer-damage permit program in 2011 and 2012. A total of 44 deer were killed during those two years. Celoron did not continue the program in 2013. One reason given by Celoron officials for not continuing the deer-damage permit program is the lack of other municipalities running a similar program.