continued “Each one of them brought some unique qualifications to the position and I think it made it a difficult choice until we resolved in which direction we wanted to go with this position,” Snyder said. “We are moving in the direction of the more hands-on person to hit the ground running here.”
After former Superintendent of Highways Darrell Duncan retired, town officials began reviewing the responsibilities he held. Ken Guyer was hired to Duncan’s position, but Town Board members deemed the amount of responsibilities Duncan had was too much for one person.
The town then moved to create the part-time position to help distribute responsibilities. The board budgeted the position at the start of the year, Deputy Supervisor Douglas LaGrange said.
“We are down to the last five months, so we do have a little latitude … about possibly increasing hours as necessary and getting our feet wet with the position,” LaGrange said.
At the meeting, resident Tim Stanton questioned how the board could hire someone for a new position due to fiscal constraints the town is tackling.
LaGrange said the town has carefully evaluated positions as people retire and in several instances didn’t rehire someone to the position. He added the position could help the town prepare for future residential growth and increasing demands on the town’s water and sewer systems.
“It wasn’t a hastened decision. It was well thought out,” LaGrange said.
Dolin said the board is trying to be cautious with creating new positions to avoid “bloating the government.”
Some residents attending the meeting also questioned how the town could hire LaChappelle if he retired on disability. Residents questioned the legality of him working for the town. He started his own construction company after retiring from Bethlehem.
LaChappelle, who heard about the questioning, said he has “absolutely nothing to hide” and added he had enough time on the police force to retire even without disability.