Letter sparks inquiry into salary for unpaid volunteer position
A letter sent by former town board member Bill Carroll has sparked an inquiry into the salary for the chairperson of the Amenia Emergency Response team.Carroll’s letter questions whether the position is supposed to be an unpaid volunteer position or an hourly paid position.Carroll said in an interview that he has received responses from three town board members, but none of them have satisfactorily explained how the current situation came to be. He said that two board members admitted to being unaware of the situation before Carroll brought it to their attention.Supervisor Wayne Euvrard has confirmed that the person who is currently holding the position, Dawn Marie Klingner, is being paid for her work and that the person who previously held the position, Lana Anguin, was not paid for her work. Euvrard said that he believes there is nothing fishy with that situation.Klingner and Anguin have both confirmed the status of their payment as well.Anguin said that she held the position for over ten years until January 2011.Board member Vicki Doyle said she spoke with the town bookkeeper, Sherry Johnson, who confirmed that Klingner has received payment several times for her work as the chairperson for the Emergency Response team. Doyle said her inquiry revealed that Klingner was not paid out of a part of the budget earmarked for that position because the position was not put into the budget.“I’m not 100 percent sure things were done as they should have been,” said Doyle, citing the fact that no vouchers were presented to the board. “This is a recurring thing, so the town board should be informed.”Doyle said that if this position is supposed to be paid, the salary needs to be discussed and voted on by the Town Board and put into the town budget.Carroll said that “any money spent by the Town Board is a concern to me” and needs to be done with the consent of all Town Board members.After explaining that one Euvrard admitted to being aware of the change of the volunteer position pay, Carroll said, “I don’t think that it’s being faithful if the other board members didn’t know about it.”He went on to say that if it turns out that the position was illegally paid, the money should be returned to the taxpayers by coming out of the supervisor’s salary.Doyle said she will look further into the issue.The public hearing for the 2012 Amenia Town Budget is Thursday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. in the Amenia Town Hall.