The Lancaster Town Board on Monday voted to fill a full-time clerk-typist position in the Town Clerk’s Office, a job appointment made over the objections of Supervisor Dino J. Fudoli.
The vote came two weeks after Democrats on the Town Board overruled the Republican supervisor – who wanted to replace a retiring full-time worker with a part-timer – by restoring the full-time job to the town’s 2013 budget.
Fudoli and a small number of residents who regularly speak at board meetings said that the Town Clerk’s Office has enough staff already and that the town can’t afford the salary and the benefits of another full-time worker.
“I should know what I’m paying for,” resident Mike Fronczak said Monday, when he complained that the cost of those health and pension benefits wasn’t outlined in the hiring resolution.
But Town Board Democrats and Town Clerk Johanna M. Coleman defended the restoration of the full-time position, saying the Town Clerk’s Office takes on duties that its peers in other towns don’t handle.
After intense debate two weeks ago, and modest follow-up questioning Monday, the Town Board voted, 4-1, to name Rose Ann Brunstad to fill the $41,117-per-year job.
“That job has been there before, and Johanna’s office is very busy. To remove that position, it just creates a hardship,” Marsha C. Cox, president of the union that represents most town white-collar employees, said after the meeting.
Brunstad, who has served since Aug. 27 as deputy receiver of taxes, was appointed to that non-union position by Coleman. Brunstad succeeded Kathleen M. Wehner, who retired a couple of months earlier.
Brunstad previously worked as clerk-typist in the town Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, and she was granted a leave from this civil service position to take the job as deputy receiver of taxes.
Fudoli, in preparing his tentative 2013 budget, proposed replacing a retiring, full-time clerk-typist with a part-time employee. He argued at the Nov. 19 meeting that his research showed that the Town Clerk’s Office was overstaffed, compared with the clerk’s offices in other towns.
Fronczak and other residents objected that a full-time employee won’t just make a higher salary, but also will cost more in health and pension benefits. Fronczak argued Monday that those benefit costs should be spelled out, but Fudoli, while agreeing in spirit, said it would be hard to do this because those costs can vary.
Democrats on the Town Board previously said Coleman made a compelling case for a full-time employee. Two weeks ago, the board voted to restore the job and Monday voted to appoint Brunstad.
The clerk-typist’s job was posted internally, and Brunstad was the only qualified town employee who expressed interest in the new position, Coleman told The Buffalo News.
Brunstad will earn the same amount as a civil service clerk-typist as she did as deputy receiver of taxes.
Since Brunstad already is a town employee, the new hire is the person Coleman must appoint to the vacant job of deputy receiver of taxes.
Coleman said last week that she plans to fill the job by the end of the year, but she declined to name the person until she makes the appointment official.