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Fewer office hours doesn’t mean less work for Gaines town clerk

Posted 1 February 2018 at 6:40 pm

Editor:

There was a recent a letter that claimed the Gaines Town Clerk got an “effective” hourly wage hike. The letter said there some sort of Town Resolution that governed her hours. It also inferred that last December something underhanded went. It claimed tax bills under the last administration were changed in December. My response is “wow” – how could someone come up with that. Balderdash.

In fact, New York State Law provides the clerk is salaried a‎nd the law details the clerk’s duties. Neither a town resolution nor local law can set the clerk’s hours or convert the position to hourly. (All elected officials have legal responsibilities to discharge 24-7. If that were the case every supervisor, mayor, and legislator should be in the office when it’s open.) Gaines tried and failed to use a resolution to trump state law with its old planning board. It seems pretty cavalier to do it again and I wonder if all its resolutions need to be “vetted” to see if there are others that are illegal.

As for tax bills, I hear someone neither could not read revenue receipts or add. Either way that is bad stuff. Whoever caught it should be congratulated as otherwise the Town would have had to borrow to cover the shortfall created to pay for approved budgeted expenditures.

Now MY question comes up because Judge Schmidt’s web page makes a point that most Towns have two judges. He is the only one there and has no back up. Was there a private bill in the Legislature to undo the two judge requirement or did someone simply fail to certify the position vacant? Gaines needs two judges in my view. The issue needs to be publically aired and if Gaines is not in compliance it should be.

The issue is getting the job done right and in compliance with state law and regulation. That’s what got voted on last November. This stuff now is very sour grapes.

Conrad F. Cropsey

Albion