Three selectmen weren't sold on a reorganization proposal presented on Feb. 4 for the Maintenance/Highway and Transfer Station departments, with the board opting to delay a decision until next week.
Board members Ross McLeod, Kathleen DiFruscia and Roger Hohenberger all sought specific job descriptions for the job positions presented to them.
Following last year's retirement of Al Barlow, who formerly served as maintenance supervisor, the town decided not to rehire for the position.
During the selectmen meeting, Town Manager Dave Sullivan presented an alternative which would see a supervisor answer to both Transfer Station Manager Dave Poulson and Maintenance/Highway Manager Jack McCartney.
Employees of both departments would then refer to that supervisor, making the supervisor what Sullivan referred to as a "go-between for both of (the managers) toward their respective staffs."
The supervisor position would see a step upgrade from 15 to 16 which would add $2,725 in extra salary.
Selectman Phil LoChiatto, who worked with Sullivan on the proposal, called the plan an efficient use of taxpayer money given the resources at hand.
"We needed to move forward in a way that best benefited the taxpayers of the town, that best utilized the existing capacities that we have within the departments," he said.
A custodian will also move up to the level of foreman in the proposal and receive $1,950 more. Given that an additional employee would not be hired, $13,935 would then be available for contracted services.
McCartney would see at $5,000 stipend for the extra work that he has faced taking over the Maintenance Department.
DiFrusica called the proposal "top-heavy," saying that she would have liked to have seen a part-time employee.
Fellow Selectman McLeod agreed.
"I see this proposed plan as incredibly top-heavy for the very few number of employees that we have," he said. "It's as though we're promoting everybody to management with next to no employees. It seems plausible to perhaps have one manager, a transfer station supervisor and a maintenance foreman.
Sullivan stressed to the board that the foreman position is in no way a management position.
He explained that in the interim since Barlow retired, he and Assistant Town Manager/Finance Director Dana Call have had to take on some Maintenance/Highway Department tasks in times that McCartney has been unavailable, which he said happens weekly.
Sullivan explained that it is not something that he believes is an effective use of his time, although he is willing to do whatever it takes to get something done.
Hohenberger was concerned with one person, in this case the supervisor, reporting to two bosses.
"I believe you're going to have conflicts with reporting schemes," he said.
In the job descriptions that will be provided last week, McLeod said that he wants to know how the supervisor will handle being pulled in two directions at once.
Sulliavan advocated that the strategy be attempted at least for a certain period of time.
"It's certainly not going to be easy, but I think we have two very good managers in the two top positions that can communicate and certainly make it work," he said.