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Saranac Lake trustees set hearing on manager’s firing power

September 25, 2012
By CHRIS KNIGHT - Senior Staff Writer (cknight@adirondackdailyenterprise.com) , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

SARANAC LAKE - The village Board of Trustees wants to restore village Manager John Sweeney's power to fire employees.

The board voted Monday to set a public hearing on a resolution that would amend a prior local law that removed the village manager's hiring and firing power and gave that authority to the village board.

The proposed change says "all power of removal of village employees previously given by law to the village Board of Trustees is hereafter vested and lies solely with the village manager." The board would still have the final say on hiring employees.

Trustee Paul Van Cott told the Enterprise he was comfortable with restoring Sweeney's ability to terminate employees, saying he's "all for delegation.

"The village manager still reports to the board and is accountable to the board, so the board still retains ultimate authority," Van Cott said. "The village manager is, on a day-to-day basis, more familiar with and aware of all the different requirements of civil service law, so it's a good safeguard to have him in charge of that responsibility. And also, if we need to act quickly, there may be times when the village manager, going through the civil service process, needs to take action and it can't wait until the next village board meeting."

In May 2010, the village board voted to take away the power to hire and fire employees from the village manager. Then-Trustee Jeff Branch sponsored the resolution, saying the board needed to be more involved in the decision-making process before someone was hired.

The public hearing to restore the manager's firing power will be held at 5 p.m. on Oct. 9 in the village offices on the second floor of the Harrietstown Town Hall.

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Contact Chris Knight at 518-891-2600 ext. 24 or cknight@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.

 
 

 

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