continued Hynes called the matter in which Bouchard was terminated “inappropriate,” and possibly illegal.
The Republicans maintain that if the supervisor did want to fire Bouchard, there were steps that needed to be followed first. Most employees are given written warnings and a hearing, with a chance to appeal, before being fired. Bouchard was let go without warning.
Southworth said that because state law stipulates the supervisor can designate a bookkeeper providing a resolution is passed by the Town Board, the person in the position does not have the same rights as civil service employees.
Saratoga County Director of Personnel John J. Kalinkewicz, the termination was a “very difficult issue.”
Kalinkewicz said the original resolution by the board in the 1970s would have allowed the supervisor to appoint a bookkeeper, but the firing would depend on the procedures put in place by the town and the supervisor should provide a specific reason for the termination.
“It’s doubtful a policy for this situation exists [within the town,] said Kalinkewicz. “It goes along the lines of how [the town] treats all of their employees and is this a deviation? The problem becomes, some have a lot of civil service rights and some don’t.”
He said if the town wishes to reinstate the position of bookkeeper in the future, a new resolution will need to be voted on.
Bouchard said she feels she was “unjustly terminated,” and plans to do whatever it takes to get back her position.
In response, Supervisor Southworth has hired legal counsel.
The supervisor said she feels abolishing the bookkeeper position was done “solely out of malice,” for terminating someone they didn’t want her to. She argued that not allowing her to refill the position will “put the town in jeopardy.”
“Why should the town approve the hiring of another bookkeeper that the supervisor can just hire and fire on her own whim?” wrote the three board members in their statement.