Crofton board to debate counselor, police budget

November 28, 1994

Crofton officials may have to decide between sprucing up the town or hiring another police officer, a choice likely to arise tonight when the Crofton Civic Association board debates the coming year's police budget.

The meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall.

Board members are considering alternative budgets proposed by Town Manager Barbara Swann. One, but not the other, includes money for the controversial community counselor program.

County Executive Robert R. Neall has decided to eliminate funding for the program unless Crofton amends its charter by Jan. 31 to legally authorize the special district to spend tax money for a counselor. That appears unlikely.

If the counselor program is eliminated, Ms. Swann has suggested using some of the money to hire a sixth police officer.

Michael Canning, head of the board's public safety committee, says a sixth officer would allow the force to provide 24-hour coverage. Now, county police cover Crofton when no local officer is on duty.

Board member Katherine Puhak has questioned whether hiring another officer would the best use of the money. She said she has received calls from residents complaining that parts of town look scruffy and that the unincorporated community should spend more on maintenance and landscaping.

A budget is to be formally adopted Dec. 5.

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