Sergeants in township want to join union

By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

The Franklin Township trustees discussed whether police sergeants should join the union.

At a recent board meeting, Franklin Township Police Chief Bryon Smith asked the trustees to consider allowing the police sergeants to enter the bargaining unit.

“We should oppose this,” said Franklin Township trustee Don Cook. “We won’t be able to move supervisors without going to the unit. Also, once they are in the union, they are in.”

Trustee Ralph Horn said he has real concerns about this.

“We may be giving up something and hindering ourselves if we do this,” Horn said.

Trustee John Fleshman said he had concerns because of the size of the department.

“This won’t hinder you,” said Smith. “It basically just won’t allow you to maliciously change a sergeant’s schedule.”

Fleshman wanted to know how allowing the sergeants into the bargaining unit would affect the township.

“If I had to vote now, I would say no,” he said. “I need to know what we are giving up and what they are gaining.”

Residents asked why the two sergeants wanted to be a part of bargaining unit after not being a part of it before.

“It keeps both sides honest,” Smith said. “You have to treat everyone fairly. We should already be doing this.”

This led residents to question the relationship between the trustees and the police staff.

“These two sergeants must mistrust the board,” said Mike Blevins, township resident.

Horn said he too shared that concern.

“They (the sergeants) wouldn’t be asking for this if there wasn’t a reason,” Horn said.

The trustees decided to examine this issue closer before making a decision.

In other news, the board discussed the cemetery at Frank Road and their desire to see that property recognized as a historical site.

“It is a historical site. There are markings that date back to 1812,” said Jim Stevens, Franklin Township Road Department superintendent. “We have a list of who was buried there and even have their birth dates.”

Trustees Horn and Fleshman said most residents don’t even know about the property.

“I would like to see some historical work on it,” Horn said.

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