Shores Public Safety Director to Move to City of Grosse Pointe
Stephen Poloni is planning to leave Grosse Pointe Shores to be the Director of Public Safety in the City of Grosse Pointe. He signed the contract Monday and council approved his 3-year contract Monday night.
The City's current director, James Fox, is set to retire next month after 28 years with the department. According to a summary prepared by City Manager Pete Dame, the position garnered applications from 44 people spanning the country.
Fox had planned to retire in September but worked out a deal with the city administration to stay until next month to ensure ample time to find his replacement.
Poloni has worked in the Shores Public Safety Department since 1987 and has been the director since 2004, according to the summary provided to council members Monday. Poloni began his career as a firefighter in River Rouge.
The pool of 44 candidates was narrowed to five for an initial interview with Dame and the City's attorney. Two of the five were then interviewed by Mayor Dale Scrace and councilman Chris Walsh.
The three-year contract is slated to begin Nov. 14. The terms of the contract include a $75,000 salary and require that Poloni does not participate in the city's health care, the general pension plan or the retiree health care plan--a requirement that Dame's summary highlights.
Poloni's agreement to not use any of these benefits, which are itemized specifically in the contract, is estimated to save the City of Grosse Pointe $25,000 annually.
Additionally, it will reduce the City's future retirement liabilities--a legacy cost all of the Grosse Pointes are trying to cope with and address because such expenses are causing financial hardships upon the municipalities.
His salary is also less than Fox's by about $20,000, Dame said, noting Fox also receives other pay for longevity in employment with the City and other incentive based pay--making the savings even more.
The City modeled its offer to Poloni after the Woods' contract with Director Andrew Pazuchowski, who retired from the department and then was hired back with a straight salary and without health and retirement benefits, Dame said.
Poloni's knowledge of the Grosse Pointes and his familiarity with the other Grosse Pointe directors is a factor Dame considered, as it will assist in the transition, Dame said.
Other details of the contract include:
- 25 vacation days per year accurred at two days per month, three in December
- Accural of vacation days is limited to a maximum of 25
- 12 sick days per year accurred at one day per month
- Accural of sick days is limited to a maximum of 24 per year
- life insurance equal to Poloni's salary
- a take-home police vehicle that he is required to drive back and forth from home and to work in the City of Grosse Pointe
- the first full uniform is complimentary and a $400 uniform allowance will be issued annually on the anniversary of employment
- five percent contribution to a deferred compensation plan through the City
- a 60-day written notice by Poloni if he wishes to terminate the contract, which may be waived by the council if they so decide
- an annual performance review by the city manager
Poloni's shift from the Shores to the City comes shortly before a hotly contested election involving 11 residents, some of whom have highlighted their desire to rearrange the municipal staff to bring costs down. Among the 11 candidates, two are seeking the mayoral seat.
The announcement regarding Poloni's hiring also came on the same day that the final phase of the Grosse Pointe Shores-Grosse Pointe Farms dispatch consolidation was completed.
Patch is awaiting return calls from Shores City Manager Brian Vick regarding the announcement. The Shores Public Safety Department is currently low on manpower due to two officers injured on the job being on long-term leave. Poloni has been doing patrols along the department's sole detective, Sgt. Scott Rohr, to make up for the loss in manpower.