MALTA: Debate over clerk's office heats up

Nolen closed her statement by recommending to the rest of the board the convening of the ethics board to take a "closer look at these serious findings."

Calling Sickels lax in her commitment to her duties as town clerk, Nolen went on to say, "In light of everything that I discovered, I want to propose to the residents of Malta a reform in the office of the town clerk. The office should be an appointed position as opposed to elected, thereby allowing the town board to hire an individual who will work a 40-hour week, interact in a positive manner with the other departments, maintain an expected level of commitment and enable the office to run at a considerable savings as compared to what it is now costing the taxpayers."

While other board members offered no comments related to Nolen's statements at the meeting, Sausville later said that the allegations about the clerk's office took him by surprise.

"That's the first time I heard that charge," said Sausville of Nolen's allegations in a later telephone interview.

Nolen said she and other board members have approached Sausville with these same concerns in the past.

"The only reason I asked to have the ethics board was because each time we have asked Paul to look into things, it doesn't get done," said Nolen. "This is something that has been coming to a head for a long time. We just want her to do her job."

In her statement, Sickels took issue with Nolen's proposal to make the clerk an appointed position.

"I'm also very concerned about her undemocratic plan to deny Malta voters an opportunity to select who serves as town clerk," said Sickels.

She said little else related to the allegations, but in a later telephone interview Sickels noted that she does work about eight hours a week at the records center in the county clerk's office.

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