Walworth Town Board – August 2 2012
Supervisor Plant called to order a meeting of the board at 7:30 PM in the Walworth Town Hall. Meeting minutes from the July 19th and May 17th board meetings were approved as presented and public comment was offered in response to a Letter to the Editor which was printed in the Times of Wayne County from the Town Clerk. A resident of Walworth came before the board, explaining that she had formerly resided in the Town of Irondequoit which had a Neighborhood Association that she reported worked peacefully and without partisan lines drawn, something she noted the Town of Walworth does not. She commented “I love living in the sweet little Town of Walworth.” and expressed an interest in meeting personally with each board member in an effort to determine why there is such dissention amongst the board.
A second resident came forward regarding the Town Clerk’s Letter to the Editor and explained that while she typically takes what she reads with a grain of salt, she knows Susie Jacobs to be an honest, hard working individual, who writes from the heart. She stated “If Susie Jacobs says she needs extra help, then she does need extra help.” Her suggestion to the board was for any board member to sit in with the clerk in her officef or a day, to see all Ms. Jacobs does on a daily basis. She also noted that the elimination of a Deputy Clerk position that has been in place since 1973 when the town has grown exponentially seems nonsensical. “It just doesn’t make any sense, and the board should investigate this.”
Under Correspondence, Supervisor Plant reported that the town received a plaque from the Wayne County Industrial Development Agency, thanking the town for all their cooperative work.
During Committee Reports Councilman Ruth reported that he met with the DEC, and the drainage issue off of Jacobs Road is being rectified. He also noted that the the dog bite incident on Jacobs Road is also currently being resolved. Mr. Ruth reported that he is looking into a request received from the court to have court hours posted on the Town Hall doors, and he is looking into this. Lastly, Mr. Ruth explained that the cemetery project has been postponed due to a lack of volunteers coming forward to help, and will hopefully be rescheduled in the future.
Councilman Pembroke requested approval for Highway Superintendent Mike Frederes to attend the 83rd Annual Highway Superintendent Conference to be held in Rochester, NY on September 26th-28th, with a cost of $99.00 for pre-registration, and further explained that Mr. Frederes will pay for his own transportation and meals, and will not be staying on site. His request was approved by the board. Mr. Vaughn also noted that Sewer Superintendent Rob Burns worked overnight last week after the storm, monitoring, to ensure all was safe and fully functioning afterward, and extended his appreciation for Mr. Burns’ hard work. Councilman Vaughn also praised the Highway Department Superintendent, Mr. Mike Frederes and his crew, for thier assistance after the storm in clearing fallen trees and power lines, and clearing scattered debris making the town safe and navigable in short order after the storm.
Councilwoman Marini read a letter to be entered into the meeting minutes in response to the Town Clerk’s Letter to the Editor which was printed in the Times of Wayne County. The printed letter explained that the town board informed Ms. Jacobs that she was not to appoint a replacement Deputy Clerk after the retirement of Deputy Clerk on July 30th. In Ms. Marini’s reply she noted that the town board, as a whole, has made the decision not to approve an additional Deputy Town Clerk, based on procedures outlined by Wayne County and New York State. She further explained that while the Town Clerk as an elected official may maintain her own budget and has the ability to appoint employees, the employees must be approved first by the town board. She explained that the town feels that if the Town Clerk and her Deputy work a combined total of 70 hours weekly in an office open to the public for 37.5 hours weekly is sufficient staffing, and is fiscally prudent of the town to not approve the hiring of an additional deputy at this time, and noted Ms. Jacob’s salary.
Supervisor Plant also read a statement he had prepared regarding the deputy clerk issue, stating that he has been told that in the past the deputy clerk on duty in the office has not performed certain duties of the office, stating that the deputies explained that the Town Clerk herself would need to complete those tasks. With that information, he explained he had difficulty approving an additional employee in the office given that knowledge. Mr. Plant also made a motion to include his statement into the record, which was approved by the board.
Councilman Larry Ruth commended the Town of Walworth Animal Control officer, Ms. Lea Dill, for all her hard work with the recent dog bite incident, giving her “kudos” for doing what was right. Lastly Mr. Ruth recommended that the board amend their envelope policy, stating that the envelopes can still be ordered through the county but should be printed to include specific return addresses, in an effort for correspondence to be identifiable by its recipients, and not dismissed as ‘junk mail’. This was approved by the board.
Supervisor Plant reported that he will have an intern from Wayne Central School District shadowing him for a few weeks while he is in the office. He also requested on behalf of Councilman Yale that he be permitted to attend a required training in Lockport on September 7th, at a cost of $95.00 + mileage. The board approved this request.
The board discussed Kofile Records Preservation, as well as a discussion on laserfische. Supervisor Plant reported the total cost of the Kofile Record Preservation software would be $23, 645.00 and due to the high cost may need to be purchased in installments over an extended period of time. Town Clerk, Susie Jacobs replied that before any decisions are made she would like to examine potential grant funding to help pffset the cost of the software. Discussion of the possibility of purchasing an additional license for Laserfische was also had. Currently the Court Clerk plans to look into a trial of the progeam to see if it is something her office would have need to utilize, and will report back to the board on her findings. A budget worksop was also approved to be scheduled on Tuesday, August 28th at 7:00 PM in the Walworth Town Hall Meeting Room. The board then approved Resolution #92-12 to appoint Ms. Cathy Herzog as the new Wayne Central School District Tax Collector for 2012-2013 school year. Lastly the board approved financial transfers in the amount of $767.66 for overtime on the the force main project.
The board then met in Executive Session regarding a personnel issue at 7:51PM , and called the meeting back to order at 9:03. Upon their return Councilwoman Marini requested on behalf of the town board, written documentation form the town clerk for additional staffing hours, be submitted by Thursday, August 9th, giving the board a week’s time to review so that a final decision regarding hiring an additional Deputy Town Clerk can be made at the next Town Board meeting. Ms. Marini also reported that the board authorizes Attorney for the Town, Ms. Denise Munson to respond via a letter to Mr. Scott Copps.
No other business came before the board and the meeting was adjourned. The next regular meeting of the Walworth Town Board will be held on Thursday, August 16th, at 7:30 PM in the Walworth Town Hall.
By Becky Block