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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Cloverdale to de-fund assistant clerk-treasurer position

Monday, December 21, 2009

CLOVERDALE -- During a special meeting Saturday, the Cloverdale Town Council voted 3-to-2 to de-fund the deputy-clerk's position in the 2010 Salary Ordinance. This will leave the town the ability to hire an additional utility worker.

The utility department has been shorthanded for several years and is suffering from an overload of work in need of attention. But the final vote to cut funding for the deputy-clerk's $28,700-per-year salary didn't come easy for the council.

With council members Terry Puffer, Kathy Tipton and Dennis Padgett voting in favor of the cut and vice president Steve Caulkins and president Don Sublett voting against it, there was much discussion before a decision was reached.

Clerk-treasurer Patti Truax presented council members with one alternative -- to adjust figures in funds which salaries are paid. She felt this choice would enable the town to keep the deputy-clerk and hire the additional laborer.

"You can't adjust figures and have everything be wonderful," said Padgett.

In addition, there is a limit on the use of utility revenue (a fund Truax suggested adjusting the percentage of salary coming from it), noted Alan Yackey, the town's attorney.

Yet another option put on the table was by Padgett, who proposed to make the deputy-clerk a part-time employee. However, the savings of approximately $10,000 including benefits would not be enough for another utility worker to be hired.

After no motion was made to approve the ordinance with the deputy-clerk's salary included, Puffer said there had to be a cut in the clerk's office to possibly provide more workers on the street.

"So you are going to short-change me and get more laborers?" asked Truax.

The inevitable answer was yes.

Padgett said it was a tough decision to make. "We want to run the town efficiently," he added.

Before making his final vote, Caulkins acknowledged money was tight, but in his opinion, utility positions were eliminated once and now they are needed again. It may be the same fate for the clerk's office, regardless of its new efficient Keystone software.

Following the approval of the 2010 Salary Ordinance, council members voted on health insurance for town employees. The five-member council unanimously voted to keep Anthem as its provider.

In other business:

* Padgett wanted to discuss the issue of security at the town hall, specifically the utility office. Earlier in the month, a stack of claim sheets was taken from the utility office.

Padgett asked if filing cabinets and the office door could be locked during business hours. He also wanted a limited number of people authorized to be in the utility office during the day.

"There are numerous important and privileged documents kept in that office," he said. "Vendors and town employees including town council members should be the only ones allowed in that office."

His suggestion was made into a motion and passed.

* Cloverdale resident Don Gedert approached the board regarding a utility bill issue. Gedert recently rented a home at 444 Stardust Way and thinks he has been double billed for the residence.

"I rented it in mid-October," he said, "and was billed on the fifth of November for 19 units in October. Then the customer received a bill at the first of December and was billed for 80-some units for October through December."

He was told to present his documentation to the utility office and utility superintendent Don Guthrie would get him an explanation.

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They got to do what they have to do!! Hard times!!!!

-- Posted by coltsfan25 on Mon, Dec 21, 2009, at 8:00 AM

Why didn't the Town Council take a cut in pay? Or do they think they are too good for a cut. I think the council gets to much pay as it is.

-- Posted by moo on Mon, Dec 21, 2009, at 11:52 AM

"WE WANT TO RUN THE TOWN EFFICIENTLY"? One termination and five resignations would be a good start, it would also save enough money to add that needed utility worker.

-- Posted by sadNmad on Mon, Dec 21, 2009, at 7:08 PM

What the story leaves out is the Utility workers offered to not accept the raises given to all, council included and the money is actually there for the asst clerk and another worker, which is not needed. I imagine the money saved will somehow go to pay for the land sublett and padgett was just given as per the Banner Graphic. I suppose it would be unheard of to cut the $1000's they are giving to the attorney.

-- Posted by badgirl46120 on Mon, Dec 21, 2009, at 10:00 PM

"You can't adjust figures and have everything be wonderful," sounds like a council member needs to return to budgeting 101. If a Clerk who is quite aware of fund status, what can or cannot be done with funds, and whose audits are always error free, says the money is there, then the money is there. This was a purely vindictive act. I think sadNmad has the right idea!

-- Posted by IamGingb on Mon, Dec 21, 2009, at 10:28 PM

FOR SALE: Water and Sewage Company in small town. Brand new equipment (we don't even know how it works just yet), employees who work for little or no pay. Privacy fence almost complete. Customers already prepped for dramatic price increase. Golden opportunity!

We are motivated sellers! Now accepting sealed bids. Terms of sale will be certified check along with 6 big boxes of cash. Hurry, this offer is only good until the first court injunction!!

Wait!! There's More!!

Act now and we can throw in the fiscal responsibility of a highly trained, well equipped Fire Department. Whoa! This offer CAN'T last! Still not enough? OK, OK, if you call within the next 10 minutes, you can get absolutely FREE a Police Department Equipped with the coolest Cop Cars in the county!! Wow, we are making deals now!! Come on down to Crazy Yankee's Utility Emporium!!

-- Posted by Xgamer on Tue, Dec 22, 2009, at 6:30 AM

Xgamer, you made one statement that I believe they could make without having the attorney hire another attorney that specialized in that subject in order to make a decision......maybe that would be done in a side bar?

-- Posted by sadNmad on Tue, Dec 22, 2009, at 11:11 AM

I am saddened to learn of the decisions Tipton has made on this board. Doesn't she realize theres more to being on a board then sitting in her pappys chair. I'm outraged she is trying to earn my online name by being oblivious of facts and figures when making decisions.

Too funny xgamer. Sad that its true.

Now sadNmad, you know a $60k/year attorney can't possibly handle a town our size on his own. What are you thinking??

-- Posted by badgirl46120 on Tue, Dec 22, 2009, at 10:17 PM

badgirl, You are so right, I don't know what the heck was going through my mind. Next time I'll contact someone that specializes in the subject, have them make me some drafts, take it back for final draft, and then give my response. What do you think? WOW!!!!! I think I'm ready for the bar exam.

-- Posted by sadNmad on Tue, Dec 22, 2009, at 11:57 PM

Yes, they tell you this money will be used to hire a new utility worker, but what they fail to mention is that they are on a hiring freeze. Makes alot of sense, huh?

-- Posted by Redsonia on Mon, Dec 28, 2009, at 9:13 AM

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