The resolution changing the job requirements for both Jack Cunningham's position as commissioner of public works and Richard Naylor's position as library director was passed Thursday, April 7, with Councilman Dan Dustin casting the lone dissenting vote.
The resolution changes the residency requirements for the commissioner of the Department of Public Works, as well as education and experience qualifications. It states the commissioner of the DPW will be appointed based on administrative experience and qualifications, as well as other standards required by the Town Board. The commissioner does not have to have any specific license or prior education of the duties of the position. The person under consideration must be a resident of Albany County.
For the library director's position, the person must be a resident of Albany County and must have the minimum experience and qualifications established by the Department of Civil Service.
A critic of the resolution, Mark Kriss, attorney for the New York State Society of Professional Engineers, said that Cunningham, who does not have an engineering background, was risking committing a felony, as well as civil penalties for assuming the duties of an engineer. He referred to the description of the commissioner's position on the town's Web site, which Kriss said suggested Cunningham would be making engineer-based decisions and be involved in the design process.
\If the duties do embrace the actual performance and supervision, by job description, that is engineering in nature, he has to have a license, he said.
Town attorney Mike Magguilli said this is not the case since Cunningham does not make any design decisions or other duties an engineer would and mainly performs administrative duties. He also contested that the education law referred to both by Kriss was being misinterpreted.
"It does not say he has to be a licensed engineer," he said.