By Art Gallagher
Declaring that it was not a partisan issue but an individual decision, Highlands Mayor Anna Little again joined the two Democrats on Highlands Council in approving a amendment to the Highlands PBA contract, over the objections of her Republican successor, Council President Frank Nolan, and her Republican predecessor, Councilman Rick O’Neil.
In introducing the resolution to the public, Little distributed the statement she posted on her facebook page over the weekend.
Little said that the new agreement would result in a saving of $500,000 to Highlands taxpayers vs. a net savings of $34,000 had the resolution failed, which would have resulted in layoffs of three police officer. During her remarks, Little admitted the numbers in her statement were her “beliefs” and the result of assumptions regarding police overtime of $18,000 per month provided by the Police Chief. She admitted that her numbers had not been certified by the Chief Financial Officer.
Little addressed the penalties in the new agreement only after Nolan brought them up. Nolan asserted that Little’s calculations were off by at least $300,000, which she disputed. Nolan argued that the council should not accept the penalities knowing that there will very likely layoffs necessary that will trigger the penalites. At that point Little scolded Nolan for speaking out of turn regarding Executive Session matters that council had not agreed to make public.