continued After it was voted to not make the bookkeeper position a civil service post, members discussed making the position part time for six months until a future plan could be made. In the end, that arrangement position was extended to a year to make it easier to find someone willing to take on the job.
Southworth’s main concern was that she did not want Bouchard placed back into the position. The board said it doubted she would be willing to come back anyways and someone different would have to be hired.
Although Southworth previously had the power to appoint a bookkeeper, it is still not clear if Bouchard was let go appropriately according to town law.
The task now is to find someone who is already trained and has past bookkeeping experience. Southworth said she does not have experience with the software used and it is taking her much longer than anticipated to do the duties once done by the bookkeeper. She felt taking the time to train someone would be ineffective, and someone with experience should be hired.
The board may also look to see if an outside company should handle payroll duties in the future.
Councilwoman Mary Beth Hynes said she thought the part-time position would be a good fit for the town and could potentially save money.
“Turning it into a civil service position would be very time consuming and equal a lot of process,” she said. “Right now, speed is what we need.”
During the meeting, Goslin said he felt the same. Turning the position into part time would be mean getting Southworth help as soon as possible, so she doesn't have to continue to do those duties herself.
Hynes said the plan now is to work with Southworth to see who the supervisor has in mind for the position. They are both on the town’s personnel committee. Hynes said she has also compiled a list of potential candidates and would like to see if they both have the same people in mind for the job. They might then begin an interview process.
Southworth said having someone take a civil service exam for the position would have been a better option since it would have taken an unbiased approach to the hiring, and would have mandated that someone with experience got the position. The hope is to now look for those same qualifications.
“I think it will still be difficult for us to find someone highly qualified to take the position knowing we’re looking at other options after that one year is up,” she said.