H’way job duties detailed

Bethlehem board tackles worker vacation policy

— A list of expected duties has now been established for the Town of Bethlehem’s incoming highway superintendent.

A resolution was passed on Wednesday, Aug. 28, by the Town Board after a lengthy discussion over how specific the job description should be. The duties and assigned tasks were established through the help of Interim Highway Superintendent Erik Deyor, department staff and Town Supervisor John Clarkson.

“Much like the shared services contract we have with the Town of New Scotland, these are things the highway superintendent has been doing for years on a handshake and understanding … but it’s far better to do it officially through a resolution.” said Clarkson.

The supervisor said it is recommended by the New York State Association of Towns that such a resolution be in place. The list was meant to remain flexible, so an incoming highway superintendent would still be able to run the department as he or she saw fit, while still being held to certain expectations. However, some board members felt portions of the list were too specific.

“I appreciate what we are doing, and I know there’s a reason for it, but I also know when you begin to make a list, you are bound to leave something off and there is some danger in that,” said Councilwoman Joann Dawson. She was also concerned that once the list was passed through a resolution, the town would be held responsible tobecause only a certain portion of the Highway Department’s work is paid for through the highway fund.

Deyoe said everything included on the list were duties already being performed by the Highway Department and the list was meant to formalize those expectations. Any changes needed in the future could also be made through another resolution.

Some board members thought it was unfair to include specific items, such as “assisting the Bethlehem Garden Club in planting and assist with the maintenance of their projects along state, county and town rights of way in the town.” Although the town would like to see this practice continue, Town Board members felt there could come a time when the funding and resources would be needed elsewhere.

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