FORESTVILLE - Al-though there was not a public comment section of the special meeting of the Forestville Village Board on Wednesday, some of the seven members of the public who attended chose to comment anyway. Joyce Line-man was concerned that the original notice of the meeting appeared in the OB-SERVER without the time.
The email from clerical employee Samantha Koz-lowski to the OBSERVER, did not specify the time, but did specify that the meeting was "for the water project." On Nov. 10, the notice appeared in the notebook section, but did not include the time. The notice of Wednesday's special meeting appeared in the OBSERVER's civic calendar on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. It also appeared in the notebook section of the paper on Monday. All these notices did contain the time.
On Sunday, Mayor Beth Bowker called the paper to ask that the time for the meeting be given. All notices in the paper specified the meeting was "for the water project," and Bowker did not specify at the time of her call that there was any other business.
OBSERVER Photo by Diane R. Chodan
The Forestville Village Board settles in to hold a special meeting. Left to right: Trustees Kimberly Stott, Carol Woodward, Mayor Beth Bowker, Trustee Linda Aures, and Clerk Samantha Kozlowski.
The printed agenda available at the special meeting contained two action items. One was "a resolution approving engineers Clark, Patterson, and Lee for the development of plans and specifications in order to place the village's new potable well in service along with the other facilities related to the water project."
Eric Weis, the engineer, was at the meeting to explain the resolution concerning the water. Trustee Linda Aures asked a number of questions about the resolution. She told Weis, "It was rough reading."
When the vote was taken the resolution was adopted unanimously.
The other action item was a "resolution setting Working Supervisor wages." The recently appointed working supervisor is the former mayor, Charles Brewster. The resolution to appoint Brewster was made at the Oct. 30 regular meeting of the board. His appointment was effective Nov. 5 and he was to serve a one-year probationary period.
A member of the public challenged the board about why this item was on the special meeting when it had not been specified.
Kozlowski answered that it was legal because the meeting was about the water project and Brewster as supervisor is involved in the water project.
According to Bowker, wages had not been set at that time, and the board wanted to specify other conditions of employment. Brewster is to receive his water license by 90 days and he is to attend board meetings. However, she cautioned that if the board waited until the regular meeting (Nov. 27) to set the rate, Brewster would have to be paid what the previous supervisor was paid.
Marge Workoff said that since the board has wasted money on other things, the members may as well wait until the next meeting to set the rate.
Bowker said, "We will bring it up at the next regular meeting." The meeting was then adjourned.
Contacted after the meeting, Bowker explained her reasoning for calling a meeting in the morning. "The engineer has to come from Rochester, so it seems better to hold a meeting in the morning. The time seems reasonable to me."
About the water resolution, she said, "We had to have the water resolution. Now it can go out to bid." She explained that now the bid can be done in January rather than waiting until March.
Trustee Linda Aures said that she did not know about the meeting until she read about it in the OBSERVER. She also said that she did not have the water resolution until Tuesday and was not aware that the wages for Brewster was to be on the agenda.
"I was blindsided," she said.
Dan Vendel, senior personnel technician in May-ville, said that there is a general classification of duties for "Working Supervisor" - the job to which Brewster was appointed.
The job description is available on the website www.observertoday.com under this article. However, specific duties can vary from location to location. For example, the description does not include anything about working with a water system.
Vendel also said the wages are a local decision. A person could be an hourly worker or salaried as long as the employer complies with the Fair Labor Standards Act.
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