Council splits on transfer for new, part-time position

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By Elio Gugliotti, Editor

PROSPECT — In a decision that came down to a tie-breaking vote, the Town Council on Feb. 2 approved a budget transfer to fund a new assistant to the treasurer position.

The council voted 4-4 with one abstention to transfer $2,100 from youth summer activities to fund the assistant to the treasurer position for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Mayor Robert Chatfield told the council the position will be a town employee and certified. He said the position will work a few hours a day for a couple days a week, including Saturday. He said the position will be paid $100 a week.

The position is designed to support and assist the treasurer with managing the town’s financial activities, according to the job description.

The treasurer is an elected position in Prospect. The position, which is held by Republican David R. Young, is part time and paid a salary of $10,000 a year.

The vote on the transfer split along party lines, with Republicans voting for it and Democrats opposing it. Council member Megan Patchkofsky, a Republican, abstained, saying she couldn’t bring up documents related to the transfer and position during the virtual meeting.

Council Chairman Jeffrey Slapikas, a Republican, cast the tie-breaking vote to approve the transfer. Slapikas said he’s apprehensive about creating a new position, but added he would rather have someone in place who is certified and able to do the job if the treasurer is not available or able to perform the duties.

Council members Theresa Graveline and Patricia Geary, who both voted against the transfer, said the duties of the assistant to the treasurer are the same as the treasurer’s responsibilities.

The position’s duties, according to the job description, include helping to ensure there are sufficient funds available to operate the town, and assisting with tracking payments and expenditures.

Graveline and Geary both said they would prefer to have the treasurer take on the additional hours.

Graveline said the money for the assistant could be used to increase the treasurer’s salary, if additional work is needed from the position. She said she doesn’t see why the part-time treasurer position would need a part-time assistant.