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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.

Public Safety Director Stephen Poloni will soon change cities as the council approved his contract Monday.

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 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 , some of whom have highlighted their desire to rearrange the municipal staff to bring costs down. Among the 11 candidates, .

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.

Robert Lee October 25, 2011 at 02:00 PM
Interesting how the Woods was able to retain their highly regarded chief, yet save taxpayers dollars with some creative thinking. Too bad the Cooper administration was not that proactive, and let our highly regarded police chief leave. Not that anybody can blame Chief Poloni, as who wouldn't look at other options once vested in their pension and health care. But now Shores taxpayers are paying for his and his family's health care, essentially subsidizing him to work for another community. This shows why municipalities need health care and pension reform. Good luck in your new position, Chief Poloni!
Harry Kurtz October 25, 2011 at 08:17 PM
According to the GP PATCH article above: "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: The article isn't referring to Mayor Cooper, Dave Galbenski or Brian Geraghty as wanting to "re-arrange the municipal staff" to cut costs. Also see:http://www.grossepointenews.com/Articles i-2010-05-06-242805.114135_Chief-quits-cites-recall.html "This was a job-security move," Poloni said. "With the recall, there had been talk of relieving administrators. I felt that for the protection of my family, I needed to look for another position." As some may remember, Director Poloni returned to the Shores right after the recall attempt was defeated. Had the recall succeeded, Ted Kedzierski would have been Mayor of GP Shores. Why should Director Poloni take a chance to wait and see what might happen, when this opportunity came up? Do you suppose he'll be the last one to leave, depending on how this election turns out? Steve has always been the consummate professional and one of our Guardian Angles since 1987, along with the rest of our "Best in Class", triple trained Public Safety department. As he graciously said, upon announcing his departure, the residents of the Shores are like family to him, just as he is to us. I'm glad he's staying in the Grosse Pointes. We know he'll always be there for us.

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