The working of government can be tedious, a bit frustrating (even for those who are in government), sometimes a little costly, but necessary.
Such is the case with Ordinance 2555. It is actually the reworking of Ordinance 2541, a law that was unanimously approved by the governing body just three months ago in August.
That original ordinance added a new section to an existing code which wanted to clarify that any time a Roselle Park Municipal Court Officer serves as a Special Law Enforcement Officer, he or she will receive the same rate of pay as they do for their duties in the Roselle Park Municipal Court. This section was added to remove any confusion for the pay rate set in Ordinance 2540 for Special Law Enforcement Officers.
After Ordinance 2541 had its first reading in July then its second reading, public hearing, and vote by council in August, the Roselle Park Police Department notified the governing body that the language in that section was not interpreted as it was intended.
How to address that?
With another ordinance.
I know, it sounds silly.
There were all these checks, double checks, triple checks, and still it needs to be done again.
Why not just take a pen and put a line through it and be done with it.
Well, because it is important to have bills (proposed laws) go through as much scrutiny as possible. And yes, sometimes, with all that, a government gets it wrong. Not because of malice or spite; sometimes it is just because one step was not followed, one review was not done, or one punctuation was in the wrong place.
It would be easy to say well everyone knows what we mean and not spend the time to do it right, but more often than not – sooner or later – it comes back and ends up costing more time and resources than an open process of correction.
In these instances, the new ordinance that will correct a previous ordinance – even if done just one meeting later – has to go through the entire process again, including a fee for publication of the introduction and second reading. These costs combined is usually no more than around $30 to $50.
In this case, 44 words had to be removed in order to tighten up the language and remove any ambiguity that could be brought up later.
The wording to be removed is:
Should any such Special Law Enforcement Officer concurrently serve as a Civilian Court Officer in the Roselle Park Municipal Court, such Special Law Enforcement Officer shall receive the same rate of pay as they do for their duties in the Roselle Park Municipal Court
This will only leave the phrase that a Special Law Enforcement Officer receive a salary established in the guides of the prevailing Salary Ordinance.
Again tedious but necessary.
A copy of RP Ordinance 2555 is available below:
Download RP Ordinance 2555