When the Town of Colonie's released their $92.7 budget, some town residents and one town board member were surprised to see the Town Historian's salary was cut by $17,000, while some historians and historian associations argue the cut is too significant.
Kevin Franklin, 58, Colonie's town historian for the past seven years, received an annual salary of $27,000 up until this year when it was reduced to $10,000. Franklin said that the position he currently holds is currently his full-time job, but now with the reduction in salary he might have to look for an additional means of income.
I have to survive, he said. "I have to find, perhaps, another part-time job due to this loss in income."
With an office located in Town Hall, Franklin works five days a week and sometimes has work he performs over the week. He said his hours vary, but generally his is in the office from 9 a.m., till 4 p.m. Though he will admit, it is not always strictly 9-4.
"Most of the time I'm not working out of Town hall but it all depends on what's going on," he said. "[The hours] doesn't include things I do in the evenings or on the weekend. For instance, I help conduct the local Boy Scout tour over at the Pruyn House. With parents included, you're looking at about 60 people."
The tour would include learning about the Pruyn House crowns and learning about the history of the town itself.
Franklin has also been involved in the Fonda Cemetary restoration project, which he said he worked nearly every weekend in August and September of this year by corresponding from people all over the country who have family ties with the Fonda's.
"Everything isn't confined to the office," he said. "I'm going out, documenting photos and interviewing people. I'm receiving collections given to the town and the historical society. There's a bit entailed in this job."