Farnham Board schedules special meeting for local public works talks
Friday August 30, 2013 | By:Brian Campbell | News
FARNHAM — A discussion regarding sending the village of Farnham’s part-time department of public works employees to an upcoming water school grade D certification course turned into a back-and-forth among Farnham Village Board members.
After the board approved the hiring of Jason Hoisington as a part-time worker for the village’s DPW, the next order of business was the approval of the village’s two part-time DPW workers, Hoisington and Harry Gibbons, to attend the course on Sept. 12 and 13, at a total cost of $700, or $350 per worker.
A motion was made by Trustee George Cordia to send one employee – Hoisington – to the class. Mayor Julie Gibbons said that she felt that choice was not an option, in fairness to the other employee in question.
“How can we justify having three certified water operators in the village when, in the past, we’ve only had two?” Cordia asked. “And what do we do if they both fail? Then we’re out $700 instead of $350, if we only send one man.”
Gibbons said that she did not feel right about picking and choosing between village employees.
After Cordia’s original motion to send only one employee to the water school course was made, Harry Gibbons spoke up, from the audience. “Where does seniority come into all of this,” he asked. “I’ve been here four years and you want to send someone that you just hired?”
Gibbons said that he is considering bringing legal against Cordia for discrimination.
When Cordia’s motion did not receive a second vote, Julie Gibbons made a new motion to send both employees to the training. This motion received a second from Trustee Yvonne Heller.
Though the motion garnered a 2 – 1 vote, it could not be passed and was subsequently tabled, due to the lack of a board majority vote, since Trustee Scott Cordia was not in attendance. Jere Hoisington abstained from the vote, since Jason Hoisington is his son.
“The motion is tabled at this point and we will have to call a special meeting in the future and make sure our fifth trustee is available to attend,” Gibbons said. “We have to have a board majority vote for this motion to be passed and three is the majority, not two.”
Outside of Ellsworth Nolan, Farnham does not currently have any certified water operators. When Ellsworth is unavailable, the village currently depends on the village of Angola to service its water customers, according to the board.
“We need to get someone certified in this class,” Heller said, “if it’s one or if it’s two. We need another person certified. Take this week, for example. With Ellsworth gone, we are [fully] dependant on Angola to come and help us. We can’t keep doing that.”
A special meeting will be scheduled in the future.
In other news:
– The meeting was opened with a moment of silence in memory of the late town of Brant Judge Peter Gugino.
– The board announced that it under-spent last year’s budget by $12,572, which will be added to the village’s general fund.
– Melanie McEvoy was hired as a part-time cleaner and Hoisington was hired as a part-time DPW worker, at a rate of $8 per hour.
– The bid for the paving improvement project for Railroad Avenue and Detroit Street was awarded to Milherst Construction Inc. in the amount of $104,647.
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