The winds of change will blow through West Seneca’s recreation department again to start the New Year.
Embattled director of youth, recreation and senior services Mary E. Josefiak is expected to return to her former post running the West Seneca Senior Center, and town officials are poised to create a part-time recreation director position during a regular Town Board meeting Thursday afternoon.
The board is scheduled to hold a 2 p.m. reorganization meeting that will be followed by a regular board meeting at 2:30 p.m. in Town Hall, 1250 Union Road.
“We had a study done by a private consultant,” said Councilman Eugene P. Hart. “We’re pretty much following all the recommendations.”
The recommendations by Public Sector HR Consultants LLC of Albany included splitting up the trio of departments that the town had consolidated just two years ago as a way to save the town money. The consulting firm also recommended running its recreation department with a part-time staff.
Josefiak, who was appointed from the Senior Center to the consolidated post overseeing the youth, recreation and senior services departments, had continuously petitioned the Town Board for an assistant in early 2012 to help with her duties that she said took up to 100 hours per week. The Town Board, however, continuously balked.
Then, Josefiak drew criticism from some town officials and members of the public after it became public that she had been paid $84.90 an hour in overtime double pay by chaperoning monthly dances at the West Seneca Senior Citizens’ Center early last year on top of her $83,796 annual salary.
The board sought the consultant’s independent study for recommendations as to how best to administer its personnel in youth, recreation and senior services.
Josefiak’s salary, Hart said, is expected to decrease by about $20,000 as she returns to her former position. Her union membership status, which also arose as an issue in 2012, is also expected to be ascertained by town officials, Hart said.
Meanwhile, the duties of managing both the youth and recreation departments would be handled by the to-be-hired part-time director. The salary for that post has yet to be set by the town board.
Hart said he expects the town to about break even or possibly save some money. The town expended nearly $120,000 for part-time help in the recreation department in 2012, according to Hart’s estimates.
“I think $119,000 is way overboard for part-time help,” he said. “I expect we’ll cut down on that significantly.”
In other developments expected Thursday, the Town Board is expected to appoint West Seneca attorney John Fenz as its new town prosecutor. Fenz would replace Shawn P. Martin, who would stay on as the town’s attorney.
At least one board member, at last year’s reorganization meeting, suggested the town should seek a new prosecutor to allow Martin time to dedicate full attention to his regular duties as town attorney.