CHATHAM–The Village Board has resolved to look for a village administrator. The board plans to craft a job description for the management position, which will to be part time, 16 to 20 hours a week.
At a special meeting October 25, Mayor Tom Curran said that he was looking for someone who would manage the different departments in the village, work with the town and county on sharing services, and help with the community policing model the board wants to move towards.
At the meeting Board Trustee and Highway Department Commissioner Lenore Packet said that the village had not found any qualified applicants to fill a position as public works superintendent, which includes water, sewer and highway. So the board will apply the $23,000 set aside for that position for the village administrator position instead.
Former village Public Works Foreman Chris Sperl resigned last winter after being arrested and charged with stealing fuel from the village. The village also lost a position with the retirement the village clerk/treasurer. The board hired assistant clerk Barbara Fischer as clerk and hired a new treasurer, Ann Marshall. Ms. Marshall resigned last month. Legally the village must have a treasurer, and the board is currently working with the accounting firm Sickler, Torchia, Allen & Churchill in Hudson. The mayor and other members said, at the meeting, though they would continue using the firm, an administrator could also work as treasurer, or at least “on paper,” the mayor said.
Trustee Lael Locke volunteered to help draft the job description with the mayor. “I want us to be very careful when we are crafting this position,” she said. “Let’s not put out an RFP for a $60,000 job when all we’ve got is $20,000,” said Ms. Locke, referring to a formal request for proposals.
Board member Adrienne Morrell stressed the importance hiring a village administer, saying that board members are part-time workers, mainly volunteering their time, and there are issues that need someone on site to handle. “You can’t be off site and supervise,” she said, adding, “There are things that take a huge amount of time.”
Ms. Packet pointed out that school boards and towns have superintendents or supervisors who help manage the businesses side of the municipalities. She also said that having help for the current clerk would be important.
“This is the management level [position} for all the departments, except for the police,” Trustee Joanne DelRossi said of the position.
Village resident Cindy Smith said during the public comment period, “It sounds like really the duties of the mayor,” about the job description, and other residents at the meeting pointed out that the last mayor did not use an administrator.
“We are taking on more than other administrations have done in the past,” said Ms. Morrell. And other board members pointed out the retirements and resignations of key staff.
The board plans to discuss the job description for the village administrator position at the next regular meeting, Thursday, November 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Tracy Memorial in Chatham.
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