A cut in salary worries Colonie Historian

Clifton Park Town Historian John Scherer makes $3,000 a year, has published several book on the town's history, does lectures in various places in town and is involved with the preservation of historic locations around town.

"In a place where development is so rampant, we're constantly trying to work with developer to preserve historic resources in town," he said. "I've put five buildings on the National Registry."

Scherer takes his position very seriously, as he understands the importance of making people in the town aware of its history. Even though he doesn't directly work in providing the genealogy for families who are requesting the information, he does point them in the right direction and gives them references.

As the former senior historian at the New York State Museum, Scherer said the work he does for the town certainly deserves more money for the work they do.

"We absolutely do more than what the salary gives," he said. "We're worth more than we're getting paid. But there's a pecking order, according to the town. One would argue we do more work than the dog catcher."

In an effort to ease the effect of the cut in Franklin's salary, Town Supervisor Paula Mahan requested that the Pruyn House help in offering him an annual salary to compensate the work he has done for the historical site.

"I am requesting consideration of your Board to supplement his annual salary to reflect his work for the benefit of the Pruyn House," she writes in a Nov. 8 letter to Friends of the Pruyn House President Michele Zilgme, "I believe this would be mutually beneficial to both the Pruyn House and his role as Town Historian."

Zilgme said a review of the proposal will not happen until December and said the Executive Committee would discuss it. She added that they would have o review Franklin's job description, as the Pruyn House is a not for profit organization and the agreement would have to fit their guidelines as a group.

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