VERON, Conn. (WTNH) – The Vernon Police Association cast a vote of no confidence against the town’s mayor and other town administrators.
According to a press release, the unanimous vote was cast against Mayor Dan Champagne, Town Administrator Mike Purcaro, and Assistant Town Administrator Dawn Maselek. The association said in the press release that they have no confidence that the three town leaders can “effectively manage and support our police department.”
The association says that the lack of support they have seen from the administration has “significantly impacted the morale of our department,” and says “their willingness to disparage Association members, and their tactics of using outdated and incorrect data to argue that we deserve less than comparable agencies speaks to their lack of professionalism.”
Some of the concerns that they outline are regarding the staffing crisis that the department is facing as well as the need for repairs to the police department building.
The association also says that “recent contract negotiations, arbitration, and subsequent efforts by Town Administration to vacate the decision of the arbitrators,” are some of the factors that played into this no-confidence vote.
The Vernon Police Association says they believe public safety needs to be prioritized and that employees of the Vernon Police Department need to be respected and supported by the administration.
Purcaro released the following statement Monday morning:
“The Vernon Town Council, Mayor Dan Champagne and Town Administration continue to strongly support the men and women of the Vernon Police Department, who protect and serve our community.
The Town of Vernon has petitioned the Superior Court to review the recent arbitration award, which we believe is legally defective based on the procedure agreed to by the parties at the arbitration.
The Town has a solid record of working effectively, efficiently and collaboratively with labor unions to negotiate fair and reasonable contracts that balance our fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers with honoring the hard work and dedication of the employees that proudly serve our community. A similar result, unfortunately, was not possible with the police union due to unrealistic demands made by the union.
The Town will not respond to bad-faith commentary or conduct that is intended to bully, intimidate or misinform the public about this process.
The Town is simply performing its due diligence on behalf of the taxpayers of this community by asking the court to review the arbitrators’ decision. The Town remains focused on maintaining the integrity of this legal proceeding. The matter is being handled by special labor counsel.”