Newton Falls plans to work with police chief on budget issues - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Newton Falls plans to work with police chief on budget issues

Newton Falls plans to work with police chief on budget issues

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NEWTON FALLS, Ohio - Officials in Newton Falls say they hope to work with the village's police chief to resolve the department's budget issues.

The Village Council met Monday in executive session to discuss the police department's budget. The police chief told 21 News that days prior to the meeting he was given an ultimatum to reign or be fired, the main concern being the budget.

According to the mayor, the chief will have spent $140,000 more than what the department was allotted by the end of this year. The chief argued it's virtually impossible to keep the roads safely staffed with $250,000 less than last year

Residents who heard that the chief may lose his job came to the meeting with their concerns.

"To fire him just for the budget, that seems pretty petty," said Newton Falls Resident David Jett. "But I know you have to be within the budget you are given."

"I feel that the safety of our community is at stake here, and if we don't have the proper budget we should find a way to achieve that proper budget," said Newton Falls Resident Mike Byle.

But at the end of the meeting, residents left having no more information than what they came with..

Council members immediately went into executive session. They came out about an hour later but did not take any action, and then adjourned the public meeting.

"We've been trying to work with the police chief on this and that's what we want to do. We want to sit down with him, look at the budget, and try to work through this and get things moving along," said Mayor Lyle Waddell.

The chief was not at the meeting following the advice of his legal council.

21 News asked the Mayor and City Manager about the alleged ultimatum for the chief to resign or be fired.

The City Manager said he could not discuss the issue.

"You didn't hear that from me so I don't know where that came from but it certainly was not from me and I did not hear it on the floor of council," the mayor said.

The police chief says he'll be happy to work with the city and do what he can to resolve the budget, although that may mean at times only having one officer and the chief on duty at a time.
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