Ballston bookkeeper position reinstated

Job will be part time for one year; search to start immediately

— The Ballston Town Board voted on Tuesday, Jan. 3, to reinstate the position of town bookkeeper, but the job will come with new stipulations.

For one year, the bookkeeper job will be part time and it will no longer be a position appointed by the supervisor. The board had considered establishing the bookkeeper as a civil service position that would be tested, but after a 3-2 vote the wording was changed.

“It is not what I wanted,” said Supervisor Patti Southworth after the meeting. “It is not necessarily something I think the town needs, but at this point something is better than absolutely nothing. The town was left in a compromising position in my eyes by eliminating the position of bookkeeper altogether.”

The Ballston Town Board voted to abolish the position of town bookkeeper following the Southworth's decision in November to fire the woman who previously held the position for more than a decade.

The three Republican board members did not agree with Southworth’s decision to fire former bookkeeper Joann Bouchard and at a meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 6, voted to abolish the position and de-fund it from the 2012 budget, citing financial reasons.

Southworth would not discuss why she fired Bouchard on Nov. 17, saying it is personnel issue, but said in the past, “I think the public would have wanted me to do what I did, if they knew what I know.”

The incident stemmed from a vote to in late 2011 to allow incoming board member Bill Goslin access to financial information to get him up to speed with the town’s business. According to Southworth, he had only been granted access to all paper information, but he was given digital records as well. Republican board members said it was voted upon to allow Goslin access to all financial information from the town.

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