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Farnham board revises employee policies and procedures

FARNHAM — The Farnham Village Board voted to approve a new set of revised Employee Policies and Procedures against the wishes of Mayor Julie Gibbons.

Gibbons proposed tabling the revised policies and procedures, submitted by Trustee Jere Hoisington, because she believed the board had not had a proper discussion regarding those proposals.

The mayor proposed scheduling a workshop to discuss the newly revamped policies, at a time when the entire board could get together to discuss them, since Hoisington was excused from the meeting.

“It’s my understanding that the trustees were given a copy today of the newly proposed Employee Policies and Procedures [submitted by Trustee Jere Hoisington],” Gibbons said.

“I did not receive it until I walked in the building tonight and therefore have not thoroughly read it. I would appreciate an opportunity for the full board to come together, meet and discuss these policies before we vote. I am asking that we table this until we can have a work session so that we can all get together and discuss these revised policies.

“We have never got together, sat down and reviewed these policies and procedures paragraph by paragraph,” she added, about the new policy revisions. “I don’t think it’s appropriate that we vote on something without having a full board discussion on it.”

Trustee George Cordia disagreed, saying that he felt there wasn’t any need to wait any longer to approve the new policies because the village’s attorney didn’t find anything wrong with them.

“I don’t think we should have to wait until our next board meeting to approve these,” Cordia said.

“We have waited long enough. And as far as going through it line by line, I don’t see any point in doing that because if there were any changes from the old policy to the new policy, that’s what we should discuss. Our attorney doesn’t seem to see anything wrong with it; there’s no use waiting another month.”

The rest of the board agreed, so Gibbons’ motion to table failed. Subsequently, Trustee Yvonne Heller made a motion to approve to revised policies and procedures, which was seconded by Cordia. The motion was passed via a 3-1 vote.

“If this is what you want to do right now, then go right ahead and vote on it,” Gibbons said to the board. “I’m not going to sit here and argue about the policies. I don’t think you’re looking at things fairly.”

It was stated that the policies and procedures needed to be approved right away, because the village needed to have the new “Policy Prohibiting Harassment in the Workplace” in place.

In addition, Gibbons and Heller went back and forth regarding civil service and employee seniority, neither of which are addressed in the revised policies.

The revised Employees Policies and Procedures are effective immediately. Those policies will be reviewed annually and changes can be made any time, as long as the board reviews them and approves a resolution by majority vote.

The next village of Farnham meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. on May 20.

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