Millersville Borough meeting covers many issues

The Millersville borough council met last Tuesday to discuss an array of topics, specifically the hiring of a police officer.

The bi weekly meeting occurred on September 8 at 7 p.m. in the Millersville Municipal Building.

The attendance at this meeting was scarce due to the lack of citizens’ requests or concerns addressed during the meeting.

The council meeting was brief, ending before 8:30 p.m. However, quite a few serious topics were discussed, such as the resignation of council member Keith E. Kauffman, who had to withdraw from his position because he moved out of the county.

Kauffman gave a thoughtful speech, saying that he fulfilled his duties, “to the best of [his] ability. At times [he] might have let [his] passion for the issues over mind [his] politeness, and [he is] sorry if [he] offended [his] borough council members.”

The meeting then went on to the discussion of the hiring of a new Millersville police officer.

Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, Nick Taylor, presented this topic during the “reports from committees or boards” section of the meeting.

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In order to continue the hiring process of a police officer, Taylor needed permission from the board.

After reviewing several candidates, Millersville police considered hiring Patrick Rodisill to fill in the open position.

“I strongly recommend Patrick Rodisill because of his background, demeanor and the way he presents himself,” said Taylor.

Taylor explained to the committee the difficulties and the logistics behind hiring a police officer, saying that there were, “many candidates, which made this a difficult decision.”

He went on to explain the hiring process of the officers. Nine candidates were sent to the Harrisburg Police Academy, where all but two passed the fitness exam. The remaining eight of these applicants were interviewed over a two night span. Four of these applicants, all male, were considered for hire, two of which passed the background check.

Towards the end of the meeting, during the personnel committee portion, the council voted on the consideration to hire Rodisill into the Millersville police force.

This vote does not mean that Rodisill obtains the position. It means that he will go onto the next steps of the hiring process. This includes a health exam, psychological exam, drug test and polygraph test.

Before council agreement, these tests cannot be issued because the Office for Civil Rights enforces the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 Privacy Rule, or HIPAA.

HIPAA protects the privacy of individuals’ health information from being used against a person during the hiring process.

Under HIPAA, an employer cannot have access to health records, obtain a drug sample or assign a physical exam or psychological testing before consideration of employment is issued. This includes asking about drugs and alcohol during the interviewing process, which are considered diseases under HIPAA.

Due to these specifics, the police force distributes tests and has an extensive interviewing process. However, a polygraph test can be issued before or after the conditional employment.

“The questions just change,” Millersville police chief, John D. Rochat explained. Before the conditional employment, questions about drugs or alcohol cannot be asked. After the conditional employment, these questions are permissible.

After allowed time, the council members came to a decision and voted in favor of Rudisill, except for Jack W. Gardner, vice president of the council, who voted against Rudisill.

Other points voted on during the meeting, were the discussion of the Smash the Butt run and of signing a contract to lock in the price of electricity.

The Smash the Butt is a 5k race sponsored by SWAT, Students Working Against Tobacco, and will be held on September 26, at 9 a.m.

The race is held on campus and this year the runners would also like to run throughout the borough. They will be running on Prince and Cottage street, which are not on campus, then back to campus onto George street.

The SWAT team wanted permission from the borough to use these public roads and to have police officers covering the intersections so runners can cross safely.

According to the plan submitte, the motion to approve this race was passed unanimously.

The finance committee brought up the discussion of buying electricity because their old contract will end on Januaury 1st.

The vote was a difficult decision for them because the prices of the electricity fluctuate daily.

If the council approves the bid presented, the rate will be going up 37 percent more than last year. If they sign up for a 1 year contract, the borough has an estimated savings of $56,000, for two years $100,702, and three years $138,353.

The council must consider if they believe the cost of electricity will go up. If they approve this bid, there is a risk that tomorrow the rate could go down.

There was a motion made for Millersville borough to continue with Constellation Electric for .784 kilowatt hours.

The majority council members did not approve this motion, stating that they are “not one to jump in right away until we look at our other options,” said Linda Deal, and the “risk is that things would go down at the next county bid,” said Arnold.

One member, Michael Kirkham of the Finance Committee did approve this motion; however, the motion did not pass.

The council will continue to discuss this issue at a later council meeting.

The next borough council meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 22, and is open to the public.