The Madison City Commission on Monday approved a new policy for the Madison Police Department regarding cell phone payments.  The policy was approved on a 3-to-2 vote of the commission, with Commissioner Bob Thill and Mayor Marshall Dennert voting against it. 

The policy, which was presented by Public Safety Commissioner Mike Waldner, states that employees of the Madison Police Department who use their personal cell phone for public safety emergency communications and regular city communication shall receive a payment for their personal cell phone expenses of 50-dollars a month.  Waldner asked that the payment also be retroactive to include the first two months of the year.

Mayor Dennert said that in talking with the City’s Human Resources Coordinator Lexi Bohlander, he found out that the payments would have to come out of the first pay period of the month, instead of the last one, which was stated in the policy.  He said that the first payment could be made starting April 1st, with the retroactive payments then for January through March.  

Commissioner Thill said this policy for one individual city department did not have the support of the city’s Human Resources or Finance Offices. 

City Finance Officer Jennifer Eimers supported Thill’s objection to the policy, saying that a policy that her office was instructed to research and put together for all city departments was never acted on by the commission. 

Eimers also said during Monday’s meeting that she wanted her office’s objection to the policy on the record.

Thill said that he didn’t believe that the city was backing it’s HR and City Finance Offices.  Commissioner Jeremiah Corbin said that he was ok with starting with a simple policy for one department with the option of working on it more in the future.