KENNETH CITY — Council members here narrowly agreed to delay consideration of a proposal to add a canine unit to the Police Department until after a transition to a new form of government is complete.
Earlier this month, Kenneth City voters agreed to change to a council-manager form of government under which a professional manager oversees the daily governmental activities. Under the current format, council members are responsible for the government's daily issues.
Council members are scheduled to hold a workshop at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the community hall, 4600 58th St. N, to begin the transition process. But supporters of the change came before the council at Wednesday's meeting and asked that members put off major decisions until the transition is complete. The changeover must be done no later than early March.
One of the items they wanted delayed was a proposal by police Chief Mike Rossi to expand his 12-officer department by adding a police dog. Rossi had said that the addition would cost the town nothing because the canine and its food and medical care would be donated.
But some council members were skeptical about the possibility of hidden costs, including training and overtime for the human officer who would be partnered with the dog. Three of them agreed to heed the requests of residents and delay consideration until after a town manager is on board. The other two — Phil Redisch and Joanne DeSimone — voted against the delay.
DeSimone, who oversees the Police Department, was especially adamant.
"I don't think that this council should be mute and not do their job that they are bring paid for every single month until you finally find someone. … If you can't function, you should have resigned," DeSimone said before the debate.