GLOVERSVILLE - Police Chief Donald VanDeusen was given the go-ahead by members of the Common Council on Tuesday to schedule the testing and evaluations needed for hiring a new police officer as proposed in the 2014 budget, although no formal action was taken.
The informal approval was given after the chief questioned whether he could move forward to schedule a background check and a psychological screening test for the prospective new officer.
He said the process takes four to five weeks to complete, and in order for the officer to be able to work by January, the chief would have to move forward with the process in December.
First Ward Councilwoman Robin Wentworth said she didn't believe there were any concerns about the hiring of a new police officer during the budget meetings, and members of the council agreed.
The chief said after successful completion of the background check and test, an officer is given a conditional offer of employment, which is contingent upon the person passing the physical agility test and a physical.
Officials did not say how much the officer would be paid. The last entry-level officer hired had a starting annual salary of $37,544.
The vacancy is the result of a retirement.
The hiring would bring the total number of officers in the department to 31.
"There also [may] be another vacancy created by a near-future retirement. I can't speak to who or when until that is official," VanDeusen said.
The proposed 2014 city budget calls for a nearly 2 percent tax-levy decrease and includes money for the new officer.
The $15.8 million plan is up $400,000 from this year's budget.
Mayor Dayton King said his proposed budget, which includes no layoffs or reductions in services, would lower the city tax rate from $21.71 per $1,000 of assessed value to $21.31.
Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.