Sat09202014

Last updateThu, 19 Nov 2015 8pm

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BREAKING NEWS: Chief Hawkins will remain

After a one and a half hour closed session regarding “the hiring of a police chief,” at 10:15 p.m. on Thursday, June 10, Town Attorney Andrea Erard announced “the council would like to keep the chief.” 

The closed session came at the end of a long town council meeting attended by approximately 80 citizens who came to show their support for Chief Christopher Hawkins.  Hawkins told the Journal earlier today he “would like to stay, but it’s up to the council.”  Once it became known throughout the community that Hawkins wanted to stay on at the beach, rumors had been circulating all day that the town council members were not going to offer him a new contract. 

Twenty-three citizens spoke during public comment period, all in support of council re-instating Chief Hawkins.  After each speaker, the meeting room echoed with applause.  Father Ron Okransinski summed up his remarks by saying “Chief Hawkins is the best thing that has happened to this town.”

Citizen speakers included Okransinski, of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church; former town mayor Pete Bone; Shane Buzby, council member-elect; Jim Jett, fire chief; Carey Geddes, business owner; Wayne Kennedy, School Board member; Art Buswell, business owner; Tim Trivett, School Board Chair; Valerie Jones, manager of Riverwood Apartments; Larry Roberson, Westmoreland County supervisor; Kyle Schick, business owner; Lisa Mott, teacher; Bob Swink, business owner; Debb Riston, business owner; Tim Curtin; Ken Moreland; Walter Kern; Wanda Goforth, Diane Pearson, Peggy Campbell, Sherry Hutchins, Tommy Edwards and Peter Farney.

Hawkins had tendered his resignation to Town Manager Val Foulds on May 27 to be effective June 28.

When asked why he changed his mind, Hawkins smiled, pointed to the crowded Town Hall meeting room, and said “they did.  I’ve had people coming up to me and talking to me.  My wife and I discussed it. I would like to stay.” 

Council instructed Erard to prepare a new contract for Hawkins before June 28, at which point council will formally vote on hiring, or in this case, re-hiring Hawkins.

Kathy Flanagan

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