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Nisky Senior Center hire questioned

Board members pull sponsorship, resolution vote delayed

— Seniors questioned the proposed hiring of a new kitchen employee at a Thursday, Sept. 15, meeting of the Niskayuna Town Board, which was followed by two board members pulling their sponsorship of the hiring to get more information.

The focus was once again on the Niskayuna Senior Center during a special meeting of the Town Board, after some residents expressed concern about the hiring of Thomas Gallup for a part-time position at an hourly rate of $7.25.

Resident Lorene Zabin questioned what Gallup’s qualifications are for the position as a cook, which is what she believed he would do at the center. Also, she was opposed to him not being a resident of the town. Since the position is part-time it isn’t required to be filled through the Civil Service system.

Supervisor Joe Landry said after the meeting the position would not involve Gallup cooking, which Meal Planner Ann Tracy will continue to do, but rather the serving, preparation and clean-up procedures.

“We are trying to make the Senior Center run efficiently and have it fully staffed to the best of our ability,” Landry said. “There is a lot of clean up as far as the plates and the silverware.”

Landry said staff members did the interviewing and Department Head April Steenburgh recommended Gallup for the position.

“We have to rely on the department heads to do the interviews … I can’t interview everybody,” Landry said. “This is a minimum wage job, it is a standard application that they have filled out … now we are asking that individual for more information.”

Council members Liz Orzel Kasper and Jonathan McKinney, co-chairs of the Senior Programs Committee, were listed as sponsors of the resolution to hire Gallup, but both said they hadn’t seen information on him.

Both decided to pull their sponsorships from the resolution. Kasper said she wanted more time to review information on Gallup.

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