Board asks town clerk to relog work hours
AMENIA â€” The Town Board recently approved a standard workday for two municipal employees in the retirement system who donâ€™t use a time clock, but asked the town clerk to start over and relog her hours worked, with greater clarity.
At the boardâ€™s June 17 meeting, the number of days worked per month for Stan Whitehead, the townâ€™s highway superintendent, and Ron Gazzoli, the townâ€™s assessor, were approved. But town Supervisor Wayne Euvrard said he had concerns over the 23 days per month logged by Town Clerk Maureen Bonds, and discussion was eventually taken into executive session. No action was taken at that meeting.
As required by the state comptrollerâ€™s office, a town employee in the retirement system who does not use a time clock is now required once a year to log three months worth of work to determine future retirement benefits.
Before executive session, Councilwomen Darlene Riemer and Vicki Doyle voiced their opinions in favor of accepting the clerkâ€™s log.
â€œIâ€™ve known Maureen to be a hard worker, and the minutes are always coming in on time,â€ Riemer said.
Both councilwomen pointed out the difficulty in putting together comprehensive minutes after meetings.
Doyle then pointed out that discussing the employment history of a particular person in public was inappropriate and the board retired to executive session.
When the board returned it rejected the clerkâ€™s separate proposal to retroactively (starting January 2008) increase her past standard work week from 16 to 20 hours. It then tabled discussion on the clerkâ€™s hours log until a special meeting held last Thursday, June 24, at 6 p.m.
Doyle was not present at that meeting, but Riemer said she had reviewed all three of the logs submitted and now felt differently.
Riemer said that where Whitehead and Gazzoliâ€™s logs were detailed and elaborate, Bondsâ€™ â€œfelt a little nebulous,â€ with some of the activities logged not being within the clerkâ€™s actual scope of work, such as tax collecting. The time frames for some of the logged work were also questionable, she said.
Councilwoman Victoria Perotti said that work logged by Bonds during vacation time raised questions, and she said it would have been better for Bonds to extend the three-month logging period so as not to include vacation time.
â€œIf thereâ€™s any work done at home it needs to be documented fully,â€ Perotti added.
Attorney to the Town Michael Hayes said that this being the stateâ€™s first year of new procedures regarding the standard workday, it was recommended to him that the board direct the clerk to start over again, keeping a much more thorough log this time. What was not allowable was for the board to rely on past precedent to set a positionâ€™s standard workday.
There will be no suspension of service for Bonds resulting from the delay in submitting her new log, which will begin July 1 and run for three months, excluding vacation time. The resolution approving the standard workday for the highway superintendent and the town assessor will be filed as submitted.