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Village of Farnham employees’ absences raise some eyebrows

FARNHAM — The absence of newly-elected Scott Cordia and Village Attorney Ed Murphy, who also serves as the village of Hamburg attorney, became a topic of discussion, during the Farnham Village Board’s Aug. 20 meeting.

The topic was broached by Sue Zaenglein. “Trustee Scott Cordia took his oath on April 1 and, since then there have been five monthly meetings, plus a special meeting, and of these six meetings, he has only attended two,” she said. “Part of his oath and part of his duties is to attend meetings and tonight is a good example, because had he been here, these issues could have been resolved. Instead, the board has to take yet another day to have another meeting. Is he collecting a check? Is he serving this village? I question that.”

Mayor Julie Gibbons responded that there are times that Cordia’s absence can create an issue and offered a recourse for the situation.

“There are requirements for being a trustee,” she said. “This is not the first person that has brought this to my attention; it was brought to my attention by another resident the other day, who was very unhappy about it.”

She said that the individual in question is receiving a check for being a trustee. “State law says that he is entitled to be paid, whether he is here for not,” she clarified. “I understand that he has a job; I understand that he has a family, but so does everyone else. It was our understanding that, when he ran, he would do his best to attend meetings by switching his work schedule, which as a corrections officer, he has the ability to do. Unfortunately, it is not occurring, and sometimes his absence can create an issue.”

She suggested that local residents write to Cordia and “advise him that his attendance would be greatly appreciated at future meetings. And that’s about the best I can say about that.”

The member’s father, Trustee George Cordia, said that his son’s absence is wrong and that no excuses can be made. He also said that he would like to see the village attorney present at future meetings.

“We’re paying him $480 a month and I’d like to see him here every month,” Cordia said. “For Scott ... it’s wrong that he’s not here. I don’t feel that I have to say anything, but when you get a call from your job at 12:30 in the afternoon to come in and work overtime, it’s a little hard to pass up $50 – $60 an hour. I understand it’s wrong and I’m not saying its right.”

Gibbons added that this is something the board can explore further. “The attorney might not be here, but he is consulted frequently,” she said. “But we will discuss bringing the attorney to more meetings, or at least something quarterly.”
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