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Bethlehem's hiring process questioned

Councilwoman Joann Dawson said she'd like more advance notice on any hiring that comes before the board.

"When a person is slated to being work at 9 o'clock the next morning, we're in a tough position," she said. "Getting the request the evening before doesn't give us that chance to make an informed decision."

"For me, it's as much about the process as it is about the financial impact," said Kotary.

Messina maintained throughout that the supervisor has the authority and responsibility to oversee the hiring process.

By the end of the discussion, it was clear the board was divided over how town hirings should be handled in the future"and if they should be made at all"but no motion or vote was made.

The board also discussed the timing of upcoming budget workshops, when the budget will be examined line by line. They usually get kicked off in August.

Traylor said it's too early in the year to get a good handle on revenues, but that rumors are circulating about increased sales tax receipts for the state and county.

Board members were guarded, though.

"I know we want to be optimistic...however, the fact is our revenues are so dependent on sales taxes that are extremely uncertain at this point, at best," Dawson said. "We are greatly at risk when it comes to sales tax revenues."

Traylor said she'd return at the next board meeting with finalized figures for 2009 and first quarter 2010 figures once the town's auditor has completed its study.

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