Town Clerk Johanna M. Coleman has named Nicole Kotlak, the wife of a town police officer, to the position of deputy receiver of taxes, an appointment that became effective Friday.
New appointments in the Clerk’s Office start out earning 85 percent of the full salary for their position. For Kotlak, this means she will start at $34,949 and it will take two years before she receives the full $41,117 salary, Coleman said.
Coleman said Kotlak is not active in town Democratic politics and she didn’t meet Kotlak until her interview for the job.
“She is more than qualified for the position,” Coleman said.
Kotlak replaces Rose Ann Brunstad, who left her position as deputy receiver of taxes to take a civil service clerk-typist’s job at the same salary.
Republican Supervisor Dino J. Fudoli had proposed making the clerk-typist’s position now held by Brunstad part-time in his tentative 2013 town budget, arguing his research found the Town Clerk’s Office in Lancaster was overstaffed relative to the offices in other towns.
But Democrats on the Town Board said Coleman made a convincing argument for keeping the position full-time, given the office’s workload, and overruled the supervisor.
Residents complained at recent Town Board meetings that keeping the position full-time instead of part-time meant the town would pay more in health benefits.
However, Kotlak already is covered by her husband’s insurance through the town and is not eligible to receive the buyout paid to employees who opt not to take the town’s health benefits, Coleman said.
Fudoli still believes the Town Board erred in adding back the full-time clerk-typist position, a move that allowed for Kotlak’s hiring.
“It’s nepotism and patronage 101, and the Town Board were just willing participants in it,” the supervisor said, though he added he has nothing against Officer Richard M. Kotlak or his wife.
Also this week:
•The Town Board meets at 8 p.m. Monday in Town Hall, 21 Central Ave. The meeting is preceded by a work session at 7.
•The Town Planning Board meets at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Town Hall.
•The Lancaster Family YMCA is holding a vacation club from Dec. 26 to Dec. 28 providing children ages 5 to 12 the chance to conduct science experiments, produce arts and crafts, swim and have fun outdoors if the weather cooperates.
The club will be held at the William Street School, 5201 William St., from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The cost is $38.50 per day for children who are enrolled in the YMCA’s school age child care programming and $43.50 per day for all other children. Register by Thursday at 684-2395.
•The town Police Department will hold a virtual “ride along” with officers assigned to road patrol from 4 p.m. to midnight Friday on its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/LancasterPoliceDept.
The department plans to list its service calls in real time, post photos and videos when possible and attempt to answer questions from the public, Capt. William J. Karn Jr. of the Detective Bureau said in an email.