A time for fiscal responsibility
Town Clerk Johanna Coleman claims her office does more than other municipal clerk offices, that she had right sized the department years ago, and that she is a frugal person – even being called cheap.
The four Democratic council members spoke with Ms. Coleman, trusted her opinion and voted approval that a full time position was warranted. They also claimed that the position would only add $19,000 to the proposed budget. Considering the difference between a full time position ($41,117) and a part time position(s) is $19,000, the difference is $22,000– and that does not include added town contributions of 21 percent toward the NYS Retirement System ($8,600) or a health plan premium that would cost $7,000 for individual plan or $19,000 for family plan.
The only possible reason for not including health plan costs would be because a person would be considered for the full time position whose spouse already works for the town and receives a (free) health plan. That would also preclude them from receiving the $6,000 stipend for opting not to take the town provided plan because they had outside insurance.
As to the clerk office frugality:
• Ms. Coleman is the second highest paid town employee at $84,000
• Since 2002, her staff size has remained the same
• The clerk’s office personal service spending since 2002 has increased by 32 percent (3.2 percent annually), from (from $318,565 to $420,167).
• Attempts to determine the skyrocketing costs in pension and health care insurance over that period of time in that department are near impossible.
As Mr. Tom Kazmierczak stated at the recent town board meeting, “Try the part time help. If more is needed, hire more, you would still be cheaper off.”