Recorder News Staff

FONDA — The Montgomery County Personnel Committee discussed several topics at its Tuesday meeting, including possibly looking at re-establishing an auditor position.

Committee Chair and District 6 Legislator John M. Duchessi discussed the potential of re-establishing an auditor’s position.

“I’d like to see this reviewed by the legislator … I ask that you select the appropriate committee to revisit the position of auditor,” Duchessi said to Legislature Chairman Roy Dimond. “I’ve long felt that simply reviewing expenditures does not really serve the purpose of an audit.”

Duchessi said he believed the position was eliminated with the board of supervisors and he thinks the county would be really served by having an auditor.

Dimond later said legislators will be discussing the topic during a Personnel Committee workshop scheduled for the second week of June. He said the position was funded up until last year, but feels it should be funded again, possibly in next year’s budget.

He said he thinks the other legislators would agree, but it will be discussed further during the workshop.

“The main reason we would want an auditor is because when we see a bill , we really have no idea what it’s all about,” Dimond said.

He used the varying price of autopsies, or where bolts are purchased as an example of things legislators could be unaware of.

“These are all the types of things an auditor can address and follow up on and making sure our money is spent wisely,” he said. “There’s a hundred things that an auditor can do that not only makes your money spent wisely, but is a savings to the county.”

In other Personnel Committee business, the committee moved forward the county Industrial Development Agency’s request to create a grant writer position.

County IDA Director and CEO Kenneth Rose said last week he would be requesting to eliminate the department’s economic development specialist position with a grant assistant for the Montgomery County Business Development Center.

Danielle Whelly previously held the position for about a year and a half, but left to become assistant recreation director for the city of Amsterdam in March. Rose previously said Whelly was the fifth person in five years to hold the position, so the high turnover rate would spur an internal review on how to restructure the position. He said the need for grant writing has increased in the department.

According to the resolution, the economic development specialist position’s base salary is $41,192. The grant assistant base salary is  $31,672, which would lead to a cost savings for the county. It will be sent to the full board for approval on Tuesday.

Additionally, legislators pushed a resolution to the full board that would amend the operating budget to establish seasonal structural maintenance helper positions. According to the resolution, the commissioner of Public Works is requesting seasonal help for bike path maintenance after reviewing the workload for the season.

The Department of Public Works has three positions in the Buildings and Grounds division anticipating retiring at the end of June. The justification for the temporary position is the need to maintain the normal workload while soliciting and training new employees.

It would cost $26,715, but there would be no financial impact to the department’s budget because the position would be compensated from a personnel line established in the 2017 budget that has a vacancy.

According to the resolution, this is anticipated as a one-time request, and the vacant engineering position will be returned in the 2018 operating budget for the DPW. The motion was carried to the full legislature to be reviewed on Tuesday.