Brookfield voters are being asked to replace a 1-mill levy that was approved in 1978 with a new 1-mill

While the millage would not change, the amount of money property owners would pay each year would

“It’s not an additional levy, but it’s gonna mean more taxes for our citizens,” said Police Chief Dan

The owner of a $100,000 home would pay an extra $18.38 a year, the chief said. The owner of a $50,000
home would pay half that amount, and the owner of a $200,000 home would pay twice the amount.

If township officials and the Trumbull County Prosecutor’s Office correctly handle the paperwork, the
levy will be on the Nov. 2 ballot.

promoUnder a law passed in 1976, the proceeds of most property tax levies degrade over time to offset increases in property value, so property owners never pay more than what they paid the first year the levy was in place.

The 1978 levy now brings in about $55,000 a year, Faustino said. By replacing the levy at current
property values, the police department would realize about $137,000 a year, he said.

Faustino said he has two uses in mind for the additional money: hiring a full-time officer to raise the fulltime complement to 12, and paying the department’s share of an agreement with Brookfield Local School

District that assigns an officer full time to the school throughout the school year.

Typically, new officers are hired at 70 percent of the salary of a fully tenured officer, Faustino said.

Hiring a new officer at that rate, plus benefits, and paying the department’s share of the School Resource

Officer would cost $80,000 the first year, rising to $85,000 in the third year, when the new officer’s pay
would rise to 80 percent.

“It doesn’t give us a lot of free money to play with,” Faustino said. “We still have to be very frugal with
our expenses.”

A leading driver in the chief’s request is the inability to attract part-time officers, who traditionally have
gotten a lot of hours when full-timers go on vacation. The department currently has only one part-time
officer, he said.

The police service is not attracting new officers because of the societal climate toward the police, and new
officers typically work for larger departments that can pay more and have more officers on duty, Faustino
said. Brookfield strives to have two officers on patrol every shift, but does not always meet that goal, he said.

“You’re pulling (full-time) staff now to fill those terms on overtime,” Faustino said. “It doesn’t really give
us a lot without overworking them. I really need to take care of the mental health of the officers, the
staffing where they’re not working alone, and the safety of the township.”

The last time the department asked for and received an additional levy was in 2004, he said.

“In 2013, we replaced a 2.1-mill levy with a 1.6, and that was from ’85 or ’86, and that generated $90,000
(more), which was what we lost in that first round of local government fund cuts (from the state), not
knowing that they were gonna come back and take another $40,000 off of us, or $43,000,” Faustino said.
“That ’13 only replaced what they took, and then they took more.”

Trustee Dan Suttles asked Faustino about the department’s fiscal future. “There’s nothing above the safety of those guys on the road,” Suttles said, but, “the last thing I wanna do is get to a manning level that we can’t sustain long term. I don’t want it to out-budget us, and I don’t want to have to lay off an officer.”

“My projection on that is seven to nine years that this would carry us out in that funding,” Faustino said.
“That’s based on projected retirements during that time, new people coming in to replace them, so you
have those (salary) offsets over that. That runs us out several years. It could be longer. I’m kind of
conservative on stuff.”

The chief added, “I don’t take them (levies) lightly, to put on.”

If the levy fails, the 1978 levy will remain in place