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Town Board Meeting minute 3-22-2021

TOWN BOARD Meeting Notes

Marion Municipal Building

Monday, March 22, 2021

 

A Town Board meeting of the Town of Marion, Wayne County, NY was held on

Monday, March 22, 2021 at the Marion Municipal Room and via Zoom on-line conference.

Supervisor Bender called the meeting to order at 5:30pm and immediately went into an Executive session to discuss employment history of a specific employee.  The Executive session ended at 6:43pm.  The Town Board was called to order at 6:47pm with a roll call done by the Clerk of the Board.

PRESENT:         Joan Fisher, Councilwoman

LaVerne Bliek, Councilman

Ronald Lonneville, Councilman

Deborah Smith, Councilwoman

Jolene Bender, Supervisor

ABSENT:

IN PERSON ATTENDANCE:  Kathy Cauwels, Town of Marion Principal Account Clerk; Caryn Devlin, Town Historian; Angela Patterson; John Lonneville; Duane Smeatin; Gregg Bell

OTHERS IN ATTENDANCE (via Zoom): Lonnie Levan; Judy Casler; Kerry Sargent.

Supervisor Bender asked everyone to stand and give the Pledge of Allegiance.

Town Business Discussion:

Supervisor Bender stated that it has been reported in the Times of Wayne County Newspaper that every town in Wayne County will be receiving stimulus money from the Federal Government.  Supervisor Bender stated that the figures reported in the paper were incorrect.  She did however ask Town Board members how they felt the any funds that the Town of Marion receives should be spent.  Suggestions were as follows:

  1. Broadband/Fiber optics – Internet for the whole county.
  2. Replacing/Repairing Sidewalks
  3. Replace water pipes within the hamlet.
  4. Town Hall repairs
  5. Museum repairs
  6. New lodge at the Town Park

Councilwoman Smith asked about the completion of the newly purchased door for the library.  The library building is owned and maintained by the Town of Marion.  Code Enforcement Officer, Duane Smeatin stated that he would not be doing the work. The Town Board will need to go out for bid.  Mr. Smeatin stated that he is paid to do Code Enforcement Work and will no longer be providing any construction services to the Town of Marion.

Councilman Lonneville noticed a correction that needs to be done regarding the Contingency Fund.  Principal Account Clerk, Kathy Cauwels stated that the correction will be made, and corrections will be noted in the April financial statements.

Councilman Lonneville spoke next regarding the Time Clock policy.  Councilman Lonneville read the following statement:

“Based on the information obtained from Chris Kalinski from the Wayne County HR Dept. as one Town Board member I would recommend the following procedure.  The Town sets the benefits and recording of time for each employee as per the Employee Handbook sections 800 and 500-4.

At this time our current employees and past employees were hired as per this procedure and there has not been one substantiated complaint presented at our last 3 Town Board meetings to indicate we should change it.  Jeff & Duane asked what the problem or complaint was and there was silence.

The Town should also use sound judgment and common sense as we assign additional work and tasks that each of our employees perform.  As Chris indicated most small Towns work with their employees to do this additional work due to budget constraints and to benefit the taxpayer.

As for Marion we have had our employees do projects or tasks at the Town Park, Highway Dept., E-waste, Library, Town Hall, Museum, help at the festivals, Update the Comp. Plan, write grants just to mention a few over the past 30 plus years.  How many thousands of dollars did this save our taxpayers?

 Therefore, as we look at the time record procedure we need to address each employees job description separately based on their individual daily activity. 

Based on Joan’s e-mail I do not agree that all employees should punch a time clock especially with many of our employees doing work off Town Hall site and at home.  Many of these employees are being much more productive with this work environment plus it being a cost savings to the Town.

Punching a time clock:

Highway Dept.

Park night supervisor

Recreation summer camp director and staff

Park inspector for cleaning

Town court clerk

Deputy Town clerk

Principal account clerk

Cleaner

Library

Stipend:

Historian – How many thousands of dollars do you think Caryn saves the Town and our taxpayers?

ZBA members – this is a very proactive board for the Town of Marion

Planning Board members

 Filling out a time sheet:

Assessor

In talking with Dawn she fills out a 3 month calendar for Heidi.

She has her scheduled office hours.

She also does off site work creating a more productive work environment.

She also mentioned if she has to punch a time clock it will cost the Town and the taxpayers a lot more money.  This is where the additional work comes in that dedicated employees provide.

ZBA & Planning Board clerk

Angela works in the office and at home which creates a very productive work environment for her and for the Town.   Angela is a employee who leads the ZBA and Planning Board to make recommendations and decisions as provided in the Comprehensive Plan.  She has become such a great asset to our community. 

Code Enforcement Officer

Duane has scheduled office hours.

He also has many tasks throughout the day outside of the office.  He combines many of these tasks depending on where he is going and what phone calls he gets.  He is also called in at night {fires} or weekends (inspections).  Duane is on call 24/7 and also on a 911 call list for other Towns that cannot reach their C.E.O.  For example Duane was just called out last sat. 3/13 for a fire in Williamson.  Duane and Heidi have a procedure in place for when he leaves the office.  It has been suggested that we have a sign out sheet for when he leaves the office so there is a paper trail if we are audited.  Duane has his phone set up so he can be reached at any time.  With the procedure we have in place today this provides a very productive work environment.

Duane has provided a very extensive list of additional work he is doing for the Town saving us thousands of dollars each year.  Now going back to what Chris mentioned, being a small Town it becomes very prudent and cost effective as employees step up and do additional work.  For Duane he is very proactive and does so many things to make our Town look more presentable and move us with the new vision we have provided in our Comprehensive Plan.

Like Dawn if you put Duane on the time clock and you have to pay overtime hours, how does this benefit the Town and the taxpayers? 

Sewer Plant operator

Jeff has scheduled hours

This sounds good, however, Jeff has so many tasks that occur throughout the day (including weekends) and are continually changing at the sewer plant and within the sewer district.  Jeff is on call 24/7.

Jeff  gets called for stakeouts as required.

Jeff also has a very extensive list of additional work he and Duane team up and do for the Town , again saving thousands of taxpayer dollars.

As you can see we have a great group of employees providing the Town of Marion with the teamwork required to accomplish so many essential things for the community that fall in line with our Comprehensive Plan.

Over the past year due to poor communication, leadership and mixed messaging by certain individuals some of our great employees have a very toxic workplace environment.

Now as a Town Board we need to resolve this very serious issue ASAP.

Employees careers, lives and families are at stake.

If anyone wants to question this issue please feel free to contact anyone of our employees who are involved.”

Angela Patterson spoke next and stated the following:

 “Good Evening

I stand in front of you with concerns regarding the new time clock policy you are trying to implement.  I am concerned on the implications this will have on the position of the clerk of the Zoning and Planning Board. This is a per diem position that is based upon after hours work which can be more efficiently done off site. Nine years ago, I took the job as Zoning/Planning secretary. I wanted to do something to be part of a Town I hoped to some day raise a family in. One of the things that appealed to me most about this particular role is that is was 90% work from home as the secretaries before me also did a majority of their work from home. Over the last nine years I have evolved this role to encompass making many improvements to the Town. I have worked on several projects and updates with both of the Boards and hope to continue doing so.

If I am asked to punch a time clock I will no longer be able to work during the week during my lunch breaks and that would cut several productive hours out of my time when I am able to reach people at the Town or County.

In addition, my work area at the Town has always been set up in the sense that I am rarely there and do my work off site.

I have 3 questions for the Board tonight:

  1. Why? What is the problem with the current system and why are we trying to fix something that is not broken? From all people involved this has been a negative change so I am wondering what the major issue is that the Board is trying to rectify and what other solutions have been considered?
  2. Will there be a new office space be set up as I would now need a reasonable space to work instead of a corner? When will this space be ready?
  3. Why is the Town starting to take regressive approaches when we live in a time of progress? Several companies are trying to have fewer employees in contact with each other and the Town of Marion is trying to bring more in contact with each other, what are the benefits of this?

Thank you for your time and consideration.”

Code Enforcement Officer Duane Smeatin stated that he felt he was being “railroaded” and that people have been out to get him.  He does not feel he should punch a time clock without knowing exactly why he has to do it now and he has not done it since he started 5 plus years ago.  Mr. Smeatin’s question was “what is the Town gaining from me punching a time clock?”  Mr. Smeatin also stated that he works 7:30am – 3:30pm and will no longer do any construction work for the Town of Marion.  He was hired for Code Enforcement Officer only.  Councilman Bliek then asked Councilman Lonneville about the interview process when Mr. Smeatin was hired.  Councilman Lonneville stated that Mr. Smeatin was hired to perform maintenance as well.  Mr. Smeatin quickly pointed out that maintenance was changing light bulbs and not construction.

Councilwoman Fisher stated that she felt this conversation really should be done in executive session.  Councilwoman Fisher also stated that she is a salary employee at her place of employment.  She is still required to punch a time clock.  She does not get paid any extra, but it is a way to prove she works enough hours every week.

Resident, John Lonneville stated that as a taxpayer, he feels that a formal complaint must be in writing.  The Town Board does not need to know who made the complaint however they should be able to see in writing what complaint is being made.

After a very lengthy discussion, in which everyone in the room and one person on Zoom spoke and gave their opinion, this discussion was closed.

Correspondence –   None

Citizen Comments:

John Lonneville addressed the Town Board asking when Jennie’s House (Town museum) would be finished.  Why isn’t it completed yet?  Councilman Lonneville stated that all materials have been purchased to finish the work but because the work is being completed with “In Kind” services, it is not completed.

Historian, Caryn Devlin spoke next.  The Marion Historic Association will be hosting an event on Saturday, April 24th at 11am.  This event will be the dedication of the new William G. Pomeroy Foundation Historic Markers in front of the Library, Town Hall and the Blue house on the corner of South Main Street and Maple Ave.  All are encouraged to attend.

Historian, Caryn Devlin is also working on a grant to make repairs to the Town Hall and Court buildings.  She is asking Town Board members to write a letter of support.  Councilwoman Fisher read a letter she has written for this purpose.  She is asking Board members to sign it and then will give the letter to Ms. Devlin.

Resolutions:

  1. Authorize Amendment to 2021 Budget
  2. Authorize Subsidiary Transfer

Resolution #3102021 Authorize Budget Amendment

On a motion by Councilman Bliek and seconded by Councilwoman Smith

ADOPTED:  Ayes:  5 Smith, Lonneville, Bliek, Bender, Fisher

Nays:  0

The following resolution was adopted

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Marion Town Board amends the 2021 Budget:

Increase budget appropriations 12201.01.000.236 (Library Accounting) by $3,152 and the budget revenues 2770.01 (Unclassified Revenues – from Library Budget) by $3,152; and

Increase budget appropriations 97106.37.000.000 $44 (Regional Water Storage Tank) and budget revenues 1001.37 (Regional Water Storage Tank); and

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Marion Town Board directs the Clerk of the Board to give a copy of this resolution to the Principal Account Clerk.

Resolution #3112021 Authorize Subsidiary Transfer

On a motion by Councilman Lonneville and seconded by Councilwoman Fisher

ADOPTED:  Ayes:  5 Smith, Lonneville, Bliek, Bender, Fisher

Nays:  0

The following resolution was adopted

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Marion Town Board approves the Transfer of the following:

Zoning Board Secretary                                              Debit                                                   Credit

80101.01.000.101                                                       $1161.19

80104.01.000.101                                                                               $1161.19

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Marion Town Board directs the Clerk of the Board to give a copy of this resolution to the Principal Account Clerk.

Resolution #2 Amend Time Clock Policy

On a motion from Councilwoman Fisher and Seconded by Councilman Bliek

A roll call was taken to table the resolution.

Long Roll:

Councilman Bliek – Aye

Councilman Lonneville – Aye

Councilwoman Fisher – Aye

Councilwoman Smith – Aye

Supervisor Bender – Aye

Ayes:  5

Abstained:  0

Nayes:  0

 The following resolution was tabled.

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Marion Town Board amends the Time Clock Policy:

Effective March 22, 2021 the Town of Marion Time Records Policy will be revised as follows:

All employees will be required to punch the time clock. The punched timecard along with a cover sheet will be submitted to the Bookkeeper by noon on Monday of each pay week.  Employees include, Highway department union employees, Court Clerk, Deputy Town Clerk, Cleaning Staff, Planning & Zoning Board Clerk, Clerk to the Assessor, Chief Sewer Plant Operator, School Crossing Guard, Code Enforcement Officer, Code Enforcement Clerk, Principal Account Clerk, Accounting Clerk, Clerk to the Supervisor, Summer Recreation Director, Summer Recreation Camp Councilors, Park Cleaner and Night Park Supervisor.

Elected Officials, salary, and stipend employees do not need to punch a time clock.

Elected Officials and stipend employees include Town Supervisor, Highway Superintendent, Town Clerk, Town Councilmen & Councilwomen, Town Justice, Assessor, Historian, Baseball Coordinator, Soccer Coordinator, Volleyball Coordinator, Basketball Coordinator and Park Inspector.

Salaried, Elected Officials and Stipend employees do not receive overtime or compensation time.

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Marion Town Board directs the Clerk of the Board to give a copy of this resolution to all employees.

Resolution #3122021 Authorize Hiring 2021 Park Inspector

On a motion by Councilwoman Smith and seconded by Councilwoman Fisher

ADOPTED:  Ayes:  5 Smith, Lonneville, Bliek, Bender, Fisher

Nays:  0

The following resolution was adopted

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Marion Town Board authorizes hiring Christina Nelson, Marion, as the 2021 Park Inspector @ $10.00 per inspection to be appropriated from account 71104.1.0.077 to be vouchered at the completion of the season, effective May 1 thru October 31, 2021; and

BE IT RESOLVED, she be paid $12.50 per hour should extra cleaning be needed.

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Marion Town Board directs the Clerk of the Board to give a copy of this resolution to Christina Nelson, and the Park Calendar Coordinator.

Resolution #3132021   Authorize the Town of Marion to Go Out to Bid for the Installation of a Door at the Marion Library

On a motion by Councilman Bliek and seconded by Councilwoman Smith

ADOPTED:  Ayes:  5 Smith, Lonneville, Bliek, Bender, Fisher

Nays:  0

The following resolution was adopted

BE IT RESOLVED that the Marion Town Board authorizes the Town of Marion to go out to bid for the installation of a new door, previously purchased, for the Marion Library.

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Marion Town Board directs the Clerk of the Board to give a copy of this resolution to the Marion Public Library.

Resolution #3142021  Authorize the Hiring of Kimberly Williams as Deputy Town Clerk

On a motion by Councilwoman Smith and seconded by Councilwoman Fisher

ADOPTED:       Long Roll:

Councilman Bliek – Aye

Councilman Lonneville – Aye

Councilwoman Fisher – Aye

Councilwoman Smith – Aye

Supervisor Bender – Aye

Ayes:  5

Abstained:  0

Nayes:  0

 The following resolution was adopted.

WHEREAS a vacancy exists in the Town Clerk’s Office; and

WHEREAS, Heidi M. Levan, Town Clerk, has recommended hiring Kimberly Williams; now

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Marion Town Board accepts the recommendation of Heidi M. Levan and authorizes hiring Kimberly Williams, 4978 East Williamson Road, Marion, effective March 22, 2021 at remuneration of $16.73 per hour up to 24 hours per week of which 19 hours per week be appropriated from Account #14101.1.0.036, 3 hours per week be appropriated from Account #83101.5.0.000 and 1 hour per week be appropriated from Account #81101.7.0.000; and

BE IT RESOLVED, that as the Town Clerk deems necessary, Kimberly Williams be allowed to work additional hours, not to exceed 34 hours per week to be appropriated from Account #14101.1.0.036; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Marion Town Board directs the Clerk of the Board to give a copy of this resolution to Kimberly Williams, Heidi Levan – Town Clerk, and Principal Account Clerk.

Resolution #3152021 Authorize the Hiring of Theresa Ryan as 2nd Deputy Town Clerk

On a motion by Councilwoman Smith and seconded by Councilman Lonneville

ADOPTED:       Long Roll:

Councilman Bliek – Aye

Councilman Lonneville – Aye

Councilwoman Fisher – Aye

Councilwoman Smith – Aye

Supervisor Bender – Aye

Ayes:  5

Abstained:  0

Nayes:  0

 The following resolution was adopted.

WHEREAS a vacancy exists in the Town Clerk’s Office; and

WHEREAS, Heidi M. Levan, Town Clerk, has recommended hiring Theresa Ryan; now

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Marion Town Board accepts the recommendation of Heidi M. Levan and authorizes hiring Theresa Ryan, 3839 Ball Road, Marion, effective March 22, 2021 at remuneration of $16.00 per hour up to 24 hours per week of which 19 hours per week be appropriated from Account #14101.1.0.036, 3 hours per week be appropriated from Account #83101.5.0.000 and 1 hour per week be appropriated from Account #81101.7.0.000; and

BE IT RESOLVED, that as the Town Clerk deems necessary, Theresa Ryan be allowed to work additional hours, not to exceed 40 hours per week to be appropriated from Account #14101.1.0.036; and

BE IT RESOLVED, that Theresa Ryan will be a Full-Time employee as April 5, 2021 and shall receive benefits from the Town of Marion; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Marion Town Board directs the Clerk of the Board to give a copy of this resolution to Theresa Ryan, Heidi Levan – Town Clerk, and Principal Account Clerk.

On a motion from Councilman Bliek and seconded by Councilwoman Smith, the Town Board went into Executive Session at 7:50pm to discuss employment history of a specific employee.  The Executive Session closed at 8:01pm.

The Town Board went back into regular session at 8:02pm.

On a motion from Councilman Bliek and seconded by Councilwman Fisher, the Town Board went back into Executive Session to discuss employment history of a specific employee.  The Executive Session closed at 9:00pm.

With no further business, on a motion by Councilman Bliek and seconded by Councilwoman Smith, Supervisor Bender closed the meeting at 9:01pm.

Next meetings are scheduled for:

Meeting:             Monday, April 12, 2021 @ 6:30pm

Meeting/Workshop:                   Monday, April 26, 2021 @ 6:30pm

_____________________________________________

Heidi M. Levan, Town Clerk/Clerk of the Board