New Gaines supervisor makes changes at Town Hall

Provided photos: Joe Grube takes the oath of office on Tuesday as the new Gaines town supervisor. Susan Heard, the town clerk, holds The Bible while Karen Lake-Maynard, the Orleans County Clerk, administers the oath.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 January 2018 at 9:15 am

Grube and Town Board appoint new historian, attorney

GAINES – New Gaines Town Supervisor Joe Grube and the Town Board started a new year at Town Hall by making a change with the town historian and attorney.

Al Capurso has been replaced as town historian by Adrienne Kirby. She is the daughter of Bill Lattin, the retired Orleans County historian and former director of the Cobblestone Museum.

Grube and the Town Board also brought back Doug Heath as town attorney. He wasn’t reappointed to the job when Carol Culhane started as town supervisor six years ago. She picked Andrew Meier of Medina to serve as town attorney. Heath, a Holley resident, had been in the role for many years.

Tuesday was a day of ushering in some changes at Town Hall. Grube took the oath of office, and so did Town Clerk Susan Heard and Town Councilman Tyler Allport, who were both elected in November.

Susan Heard, who just retired as Orleans County treasurer, takes the oath as Gaines town clerk. Doug Heath holds The Bible.

The board held an organizational meeting on Tuesday evening. The board agreed to change the monthly meeting date from the second Tuesday to the second Monday at 7 p.m. That will better accommodate the schedule for Grube and Heath, who also serves as Carlton’s town attorney. Carlton meets the second Tuesday each month.

The board on Tuesday also made a change to code of ethics for the town’s elected and appointed officials. The previous policy didn’t allow for serving on the Republican or Democratic committees. The policy was changed to allow officials to also serve on the committees. Grube said the other towns allow elected and appointed officials to be on political committees. In small towns it’s difficult to find people who are active and interested in political parties and for many of the town positions, Grube said.

Tyler Allport takes the oath while his father, County Legislator Don Allport, holds The Bible.

The board approved 2 percent raises for the town employees for 2018, except for the two part-time motor equipment operators in the highway department. They were paid $16.46 an hour in 2017, without any benefits. Ron Mannella, the highway superintendent, said that was by far the lowest among the towns in Orleans County. The part-time rates ranged from $18 in Albion to $19 in Murray and Yates. Some towns don’t have part-time staff.

Gaines agreed to raise the pay by 8.6 percent to $18 an hour. Mannella said the two part-timers are critical to the highway operation and they are less costly than full-timers, who are paid about $22 an hour with benefits and vacation.

One part-timer drives a plow truck during the winter and the other starts around Memorial Day, mowing and doing other jobs for the highway department.

Mannella said the two work about 2,000 hours combined a year. The pay increase will cost about $3,000 more over the year which Mannella said can be absorbed in the highway budget.

Two positions remain open in the town. The Town Board has accepted applications for a vacant water billing clerk and vacant secretary for the Zoning Board of Appeals. Grube said the town wants to fill those spots soon.

Bruce Schmidt takes the oath as town justice. He has served in the role for eight years and is starting a new four-year term.

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