The annual town reorganizational meeting, normally consisting of routine reappointments and policy clarifications ended up with the North Collins Town Board issuing a letter of admonishment to Highway Superintendent David Winter and directing a certified letter to Town Clerk Margaret Orrange outlining the board’s expectations of her in the new year.
The resolutions were passed Jan. 2, following a lengthy executive session that saw both Winter and Orrange called in to meet with the board. According to Town Supervisor Rosaline Seege, Winter had already received his letter and while not listing any specific charges against him, she said the admonishment comes following already reported incidents. Winter had garnered disapproval from the board following several large projects he has undertaken without prior board approval. Winter had no public response to the letter.
Orrange, who had yet to receive her letter, complained that the process was “Harassment” and that the board “has no right to tell me how to do my job.” The clerk did indicate that she would seek legal advice on the issue. The letter would seem to stem from a yearlong dispute between Orrange and Seege over changes made to board minutes. In several instances the clerk has altered or made additions to board minutes she said were necessary while the Supervisor has maintained it is not the Clerk’s job to change the official record but rather the board’s.
Another surprise was the sudden resignation of longtime Helmuth Fire Dispatch Coordinator Peter Loretto whose letter the board accepted with regret. In his place the Board approved appointing Richard Williams to the post at a salary of $240 per 16 hours biweekly. It will be Williams decision to appoint a head dispatcher at $14 per hour and an assistant dispatcher at $13 per hour. Salaries of all other dispatchers was set at $11.55. North Collins serves as the lead agency for Helmuth which also serves Collins and the Cattauragus Indian Reservation.
Reflecting their opposition to 5 percent raises granted to non-elected town employees, Councilmen George LoBianco and Jeffrey Krauss voted no on all paid reappointed positions. Yes votes by Councilmen Marian Vanni and Michael Perry, joined by Seege provided the majority in those cases.
Those positions were :Town Attorney, Richard Schaus, $12,000 per year, plus designation as Town Prosecutor at $150 per occasion; Code Enforcement Officer, Phil Tremblay, $10,247 per year; Town Historian, Georgianne Bowman, $2,100 per year; Clerk to Town Justice, Kathleen Meyers, $8,214 per year; Budget Director, Rosaline Seege, $1,698 per year; Dog Control Officer, Jeanne Ebersole at $5,737.20 while Robert Ebersole appointed Deputy Dog Control Officer without compensation; Director of Recreation, Rozalin Warren, $6,322.05 per year; Disaster Preparedness Coordinator, Carl Muehlbauer at $2,625 per year; Supervisor’s Bookkeeper, Agnes Parks, $14,607.60 per year; Deputy Town Clerk, Heidi Kibler, $13 per hour and Constabulary to be compensated at $13.77 per hour.
Vanni was tapped to serve as Deputy Supervisor with an additional stipend of $1,126 and the position was given additional responsibilities to be in town hall at least four hours per week and be available evenings when the Supervisor is not. LoBianco and Krauss voted no stating they did not believe the position merited additional pay.
The board will investigate the possible maintenance of parks by an outside contractor and expects to complete cost comparisons no later than April 1. As a contingency, if it is decided to keep highway personnel staffing the parks Superintendent Winter will receive $5,000 compensation between April 1 and October 31 for directing his staff in the maintenance of the parks and their facilities.
The Sun was designated the official newspaper for the Town.
Appointed to various committees were: Planning Board, Curt Mancuso, 5-year-term; Recreation Board, Jan Mathis, 7-year-term; Zoning Board of Appeals, Russell Judson, 5-year-term.
The contract for Assessor’s Services from the Town of Evans was continued in the amount of $25,128 per year.
Councilmatic Appointments for the year were as follows:
Supervisor Seege: Helmuth Advisory Board; Assoc. of Erie County Governments; Public Safety Coordinator; Marriage Officer; Southtowns Planning
Councilman Vanni: Deputy Supervisor; Assessor; Senior Citizens;Library; Parks and Buildings; School Board; North Collins Fire Co.; Southtowns Enhancement; Marriage Officer.
Councilman Perry: Erie Co. Water Consortium; Highway Dept.; Dog Control; Emergency Squad; Street Lighting; Buildings.
Councilman Krauss: Planning Board; Zoning Board of Appeals; Veterans Groups-Flags; Langford-New Oregon Fire Co.
Councilman LoBianco: Recreation Dept.; Street Lighting; Recycling-Garbage; Lawtons Fire Co.