Clifton Park The Clifton Park Town Board unanimously passed its proposed 2012 budget a week early on Monday, Nov. 14, which included a plan to combine the positions of supervisor and town administrator into one position.
Newly re-elected Supervisor Phil Barrett said the decision was “tough,” but assured everyone he would accept the full-time position with the town and step down from his job at Key Bank.
“When it came right down to it this is not about money,” he said. “One thing I told the family is I will be bringing home less money, but there are some things more important. I have an incredible passion for this town and for this job.”
Barrett said he took the weekend to discuss with his family the prospect of working for the town full time, even though they were aware of the plan throughout the campaign season. They eventually agreed it was the right thing for him to do, Barrett said.
By leaving the position of administrator vacant, the town is expected to save $32,000 annually. The estimated figure doesn’t include what would have been paid in benefits and vacation time. Barrett will now make a salary of more than $90,000, compared to the nearly $21,000 he made last year as a part-time employee.
Barrett said few people spoke out against the plan at a recent public hearing, even though it was one of the main issues of the supervisor’s race with Democrat Marty O’Connor. “In fact, residents spoke overwhelmingly in support of the plan,” he said.
In the past, O’Connor had said that he supported the plan but didn’t think the town did enough to explain the process to the public. Barrett thanked the opposition for furthering discussion of the plan so more people were in the know.
If Barrett had not accepted the position, a full-time administrator would have been appointed by the board to ensure the town’s day-to-day operations could be completed in a timely matter. Barrett explained that he was happy to be able to step into that position for residents.