SHICKSHINNY — Council voted 3-2 to retain Rosalie Whitebread for a sixth consecutive term as president, but it wasn’t the vote for Whitebread that produced an angry vocal outcry on Monday night.
Instead it was a vote not to retain police officer Brian Morris.
By the same 3-2 majority with Councilmen Michael Steeber and James Wido joining Whitebread in casting the votes, Morris, who was regarded as the officer-in-charge, was removed from the borough’s two-man part-time police department.
Councilman Brian Morris and newly seated Councilwoman Kathleen Llewellyn cast the two votes in support of Morris.
The other part-time officer, Keith Shackles, who at present is the only officer in the department, was retained by the same vote count by the same members of council.
Steeber, who came under attack from citizens in the meeting room, would only say “It’s not what you people think. There is more than meets the eye.” Steeber, however, refused to elaborate.
Morris, in the wake of his ouster, berated the council members who voted him out.
“I have put up with harassment from you for three years. But I’m here for the people and I say to you, I’ve done more for this town than you realize,” he said.
Mayor Beverly Moore, who administers the police department, was even more outspoken.
“Every month they (meaning Steeber, Wido, Whitebread) have been nit-picking. Brian’s a good officer who enjoys the support of not only the people of this town but also that of his colleagues. Even (District) Judge John Hasay has commended Morris for his work in combating drugs.
“But there goes our drug program now. They fired it tonight,” Moore said.
Besides Moore, Richard Kuchta, Brian Phillips, Walter Sims, Jake and Karen Baluda spoke out in support of Morris.
Moore said Morris generally was scheduled to work 25 hours per week. His pay is listed at $11.96 per hour. Shickshinny, however, isn’t his only position. Morris said he works 40 hours a week as a police officer in Newport Township.
As far as reorganization went, Wido was elected vice president; Llewellyn, president pro-tem; Wendy Kramer, secretary-treasurer; Rick Harman, codes officer and atty. John Pike, solicitor.