NAPLES, Fla. — On the first day with a new city manger in Naples, there was another delay in the talks between Naples and a local police union- as they try to find an agreement on the police department's upcoming contract.
Monday, the Naples city council was set to vote on the resolution that would approve a three year deal for Naples Police. However, there was a motion to push it back to Wednesday.
The Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 38 had to wait nearly 10-hours for their item to be hard in the council meeting today. After waiting, they found out they will have to wait even longer because the council tabled it for Wednesday.
Officer Jesse Granese, a Naples police officer and the president of the FOP Lodge 38 , told Fox 4 that all of the delays are disheartening. On the other hand, the newly sworn-in city manager said the delay should not cause concern because the agenda was extremely full.
“At the last minute they decided to postpone the vote," Officer Granese said. "It’s quite disheartening that’s it’s being delayed again. It’s very reminiscent of that they did to us the last time”
Officer Granese is referring to a situation that happened back in April when Naples City Council pulled out of a tentative contract deal with the police. Police officers are pushing for fair pay, fair pension and better benefits. Officer Granese said Naples Police department is below the industry standard of Southwest Florida and second lowest in pay in the state.
"These raises will only put us in the top 75 percentile," Officer Granese said. “Even though the city has not necessarily negotiated in good fate, our officers continue to do their best and give 110 percent to the residents."
While giving their all, the lack of pay and benefits is making it hard for the department to keep officers and recruitment is at an all time low. The department is currently down nine officers.
“We’ve had two officers put in their two weeks notice to go on to other departments," Granese said. "This is just another thing that is now making it hard for us to protect the city of Naples.”
On his first day on the job, Naples new city manager Jay Boodeshwar told Fox 4 there shouldn't be any panic because the motion was only because of the jam packed agenda the council had.
“Basically what council will be doing on Wednesday is ratifying the conclusion on what they have been working on," Boodeshwar said.
He added that he is hoping the police and city can come to a conclusion and have certainty for the Naples police officers. He said he is confident that will happen this week.
“I’m kind of late to the party, haven’t really been part of the contract negations, but I feel a sense of positivity heading into the vote," Boodeshwar said.
Officer Granese said he has seen many Naples city managers come and go, but he has high hopes that Boodshewar will make Naples a better place to live and work.
The vote is scheduled for Wednesday , Fox 4 will be there to keep you updated.