North County Notebook: Aug. 7, 2023

Published: 08-06-2023 1:40 PM

Leyden Selectboard to fill positions

LEYDEN — The Selectboard discussed its plans last week to post an employment ad for town clerk.

If a town clerk candidate is unable to commit to Leyden full-time or lacks the experience of a “turn-key” town clerk, Selectboard members discussed externally posting an employment ad for an administrative assistant, a role designed to “complement” the town clerk by helping out with the “day-to-day work,” Chair Glenn Caffery further explained by phone.

“Having these two related positions at the same time gives us synergy that could be useful for saving costs,” he said at last week’s meeting.

The Selectboard plans to edit, finalize and approve the town clerk job description at its next meeting.

“My feeling is this is something that we should expedite,” Caffery said at the meeting.

The Selectboard also plans to meet with Town Counsel Donna MacNicol regarding the hiring process for a town coordinator, which Caffery described by phone as a “reworking” of the municipal assistant position held by Michele Giarusso. Having a town coordinator position would streamline the municipal assistant’s duties to administrative roles, especially managing grants.

By phone, Caffery further explained that the new position will reduce the workload of the municipal assistant by adopting a “recognized title.” Caffery said the municipal assistant title “projects the wrong sense of the role,” leading to people, especially state officials, confusing the duties of a municipal assistant.

Selectboard OKs relocation of pole

LEYDEN — The Selectboard has authorized Verizon to relocate a utility pole 30 feet farther south on the west side of East Hill Road.

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According to a pole hearing statement read by Selectboard Chair Glenn Caffery, the move will improve the flow of electricity and telephone communication, and accommodate the Highway Department’s road widening project.

According to Highway Department Superintendent William “Bill” Brooks, the department has been waiting a year and a half for the move.

Brooks will be in contact with Verizon representative Don Voner, who attended the meeting regarding the relocation of three other poles on East Hill Road. According to Brooks, the relocations are necessary because two of the poles are “old and not up to par,” and the other is falling over, with wires drooping into the roadway. After Brooks expressed concern, Voner said the town will not have to pay for the pole relocations.

Deadline extension sought for grant

LEYDEN — The Selectboard voted to request an extension on its deadline to use its $187,000 Efficiency and Regionalization grant from Sept. 15 to Dec. 15 in an email to Sean Cronin, senior deputy commissioner at the Division of Local Services.

The extension would allow time for the Public Safety Advisory Committee to set Community 9-1-1 in motion, a training and regulation compliance program for local fire departments, according to Public Safety Advisory Committee Chair Elizabeth Kidder.

The first responder training consists of 20 hours split up into separate four-hour sessions. Kidder said five people are interested in the training, and she anticipates that Community 9-1-1 will bolster Leyden’s emergency response by training about eight people who will not require further training for three years.

The $8,000 in grant money set aside for the program will also pay to establish a connection with a doctor and ensure supplies are up to date.

Kidder said a grant extension until Dec. 15 would allow time for these projects as well as renovations at the police substation. Selectboard Chair Glenn Caffery said by phone that the renovations would convert the substation in the Town Offices into two separate spaces: one office for Bernardston police officers, who provide services in Leyden; and one office for the emergency management team to use as a command center.

Kidder said Co-Emergency Management Director David Pomerantz spoke with contractors and is waiting for a cost and time estimate.