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Town making an uneasy transition PDF Print E-mail
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Written by MARK JAEGER   
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 17:42

Jobs keeps finger on proceedings after stepping down as chairman; vacancy draws limited interest

The Saukville Town Board held its first meeting in five years last week without Town Chairman Barb Jobs holding the gavel.

But that’s not to say Jobs didn’t leave her mark on the proceedings.

From the front row in the audience, she offered her opinion — at  times unsolicited — on a variety of town issues.

Jobs resigned on the evening of the April annual meeting after five years as chairman to devote more time to caring for her ailing husband.

“I still get a night out every now and then,” she said in explaining her presence at the board meeting.

Jobs was granted permission to speak as issues came up on the agenda, rather than limiting her input to the “items from the floor” section of the agenda, but officials said they weren’t expecting so much input from the former chairman.

Although Supr. Curt Rutkowski ran the meeting, neither he nor fellow Supr. Kate Smallish intend to fill the chairman’s position on a more permanent basis.

Jobs’ term as chairman runs until next April and Rutkowski reminded the audience that applications for the vacant post are being accepted until the end of the month.

Applicants will be interviewed and a selection will be made by a vote of the two supervisors and Town Clerk Susan Churchill.

As of Tuesday, the town had received only one application for the position although several residents are reportedly considering seeking the post, according to Churchill.

Having to function as a governing body with just two members proved awkward at the board’s first meeting without Jobs, as the two supervisors occasionally cast uncertain looks at each other. Motions and seconds were sometimes hesitantly voiced.

Still, the board proved it is not willing to put town business on hold until the chairman’s post is filled.

Supervisors directed the Plan Commission to look into setting a criteria for how frequently planning meetings should be held.

Smallish, who serves on the commission, noted that holding monthly meetings is often unnecessary when there is little on the agenda, especially if there is no opportunity for recouping some of the expense of a meeting from a permit applicant.

The commission was asked to come up with new guidelines for when to hold a meeting and when to defer issues.

The board also agreed to create an administrative assistant position on a three-month provisional basis.

“There is a backlog of things that need to be addressed at Town Hall — like the filing of 20 years of election records — but I don’t think it should be a 20-hour-a-week position in perpetuity,” Rutkowski said.

The positions of administrative assistant and town zoning administrator were eliminated from the town staff shortly after Jobs took office.

A more innocuous agenda item, a request for Churchill to attend the Municipal Clerks and Treasurers Institute in July, tested the board’s resolve. The training cost is $459, plus mileage.

From the audience, Jobs questioned what line item in the budget would be used to cover the cost and whether the clerk would be paid during the five days of training.

The inquiry rattled Smallish.

“This is not a frivolous thing. We will find the money to cover this,” she said. “I would hate to think the town is so poor we cannot afford to train our clerk.”

The training was approved by the board.

Resident Rita Pavlik, who attends every town meeting, took exception to the leeway being granted Jobs to speak about any issue that was being considered by the board.

“I can’t tell you how many times you refused to let me speak on an item. It is not fair that she is allowed to speak whenever she wants,” Pavlik said, looking at Jobs.

Smallish apologized, saying she realized the board meeting “has gotten a little too conversational.”



 
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