Having just celebrated his one-year anniversary as chief of police for the Town of Frankford, Michael Warchol announced to the town council on Monday, May 2, that he would be leaving the post.
“I am going to be leaving. My wife has accepted a job with transfer with her job in the Baltimore area. I’m not sure of the date yet, but I am notifying council that it will be coming.”
Warchol said that, as soon as he knows the date he will be leaving, he will inform the council.
He said he has started a revision of standard operating procedures and will do his best to have those completed prior to his departure.
“I will assist you in hiring a full-time officer, and whatever you decide as far as a chief position — I’ll do whatever I can to assist you with that as well.
“I want to thank everyone. I’ve enjoyed it here. I love the town, I love the people, and I’ll continue doing the job until I do leave.”
During his monthly report, Warchol said the police department received a $3,500 grant from the Delaware Criminal Justice Council to upgrade the department’s vehicles.
The department also received, at no cost, a new electronic fingerprint machine.
“So we don’t have to go to another agency to do it,” said Warchol. “It’ll save us some time. We got lucky. They came out with some new ones, and they were moving some of the older ones around, and for some reason they gave me a new one… It’s about $15,000 in equipment that they just dropped off.”
Resident Jerry Smith spoke to the council again regarding an ordinance to bring the Town into compliance with municipal voting laws.
Smith said there are discrepancies in the State’s law versus the Town’s, with the State requiring a candidate to be 21 years old but the Town requiring candidates to be just 18.
“What we’re looking to do here is to, at least, bring the Town into compliance with the law,” he said.
“Why not take the time to set it up right the first time,” asked Councilman Marty Presley. “Why piecemeal something together?”
Smith said that, if the Town doesn’t do the Charter change, it should consider an ordinance to bring the Town into compliance before the next council election.
“There seems to be some resistance to it,” said Smith of making the changes sooner, rather than later.
“There’s no resistance to it. We just want to get it done one time and get it done right,” said Presley.
Smith said the nature of the document prevents the Town from “getting it done one time.”
“We’re always going to need fixes in the Charter. We’re always going to be doing fixes for ordinances.”
Resident Dayna Aliberti voiced concern about a trailer home that she said is running a generator all night long and appears to no longer be hooked up to central electricity.
Warchol said the Town will take whatever action they can; however, as far as county code goes, there is no regulation about a dwelling being required to have central electricity. He said he would look into what, if anything, is in the town code.
He recommended that the council consider adopting an international code enforcement handbook.
“Most of the codes don’t have a penalty. There’s no way you can enforce it,” he said, adding that adopting the handbook would help with that.
Residents talk turkeys
A property within the town has been housing two turkeys, which Aliberti told the council she believes is a safety concern.
“Why are we allowing the turkey to be out to procreate… block traffic?” she asked. “We got dog rules — we don’t got turkey rules?”
Warchol said animal control won’t handle the turkeys, whose eggs are supposed to hatch this week.
“We’re aware of it. We’re doing all we can,” he said.
“A lot of good that’ll do if it attacks your car,” Aliberti responded.
The turkey discussion, which went on at some length, yielded laughs from attendees, as well as council members, which caused Aliberti to get up and leave the meeting.
Robbie Murray of the Frankford Volunteer Fire Company tried to bring Aliberti’s concerns into focus.
“I know everyone likes to laugh about it, regarding the turkey,” he said. “But it has chased kids on bikes and kids walking. It’s only going to take one episode of it scaring a kid out into the road and getting hit, and I think there’s going to be a completely different approach regarding this turkey.
“How would we treat a dog if a dog were to chase a kid out into the road and the kid gets struck and dies or is seriously injured? I’ll laugh about it all day, but when you start looking at the safety aspect of it, there has to come a point where we draw a line. And if their people can’t control their pets, then maybe they need to get rid of their pet.”
Murray said he would have no problem with stopping by to speak with the turkeys’ owners, or taking “care” of the turkey, if need be.
In other Town news:
• Envision Frankford will soon be hosting movie night in Frankford Town Park. The first Fridays of June, July and August, they will be showing “The Incredibles,” “Kung Fu Panda” and “Zootopia,” respectively.
The movie nights are free and open to the public, with the gates to the park opening at 7 p.m. Children’s activities will take place from 7 to 7:30 p.m., with an educational program beginning at 7:30 p.m. The movies are expected to begin at 8 p.m.
• At Monday’s meeting, Murray was presented with an outdoor stepping stone decorated by special-needs children who attended Frankford’s Easter celebration.
• The Town will hold its first budget hearing of the fiscal year on Tuesday, May 27, at 7 p.m. at the Frankford fire hall.
• Presley again asked the council to consider what they would like done with the J.P. Court building located next to town hall. The building, which is owned by the Town but rented to the State, will have its lease run out in January. In a previous meeting, Presley said the State did not plan to renew the lease.
“If we want to explore the opportunity to rent that building, we need to get on the stick,” he said.
• Resident Albert Franklin praised the fire company for a recent controlled burn they conducted.
“I think the fire company should be commended for the job they did Ms. Alma Campbell’s house,” said Franklin.