Split council decides against assistant DPW director position

Vernon /
| 05 Aug 2021 | 03:21

Vernon. The Vernon Township Council on July 26 declined to introduce an ordinance that would have created an assistant director of public works position.

The measure was tied in a 2-2 vote. Council Vice President John Auberger and Councilman Andrew Pitsker voted for it. Council President Harry Shortway and Councilwoman Toni Cilli voted against it. Councilwoman Kelly Weller was absent.

The salary would have ranged between $70,000 and $95,000.

“We don’t have supervisors,” said Charles Voelker, the township business administrator . “We have the position of assistant supervisor right now that we have the director. We do not have anything in between those two titles.”

Voelker said if the township moved forward with the new position, one of the assistant supervisors would have been moved up to assistant director. He said the township would have hired from within.

The chief financial officer, Donelle Bright, said there was enough money to cover the salary and wages line item for the Department of Public Works (DPW).

Shortway said he doesn’t believe any of the system supervisors have the three years of managerial experience required to be an assistant director. He suggested taking up the creation of supervisor and assistant director positions down the road.

In the past, Auberger said, the supervisors went out on the road for the director to make sure employees were doing their jobs. Eventually those positions were eliminated.

“Things were needed to facilitate that things were being done,” Auberger said. “Safety checks being done on the guys out in road mowers. The biggest thing is looking for problems while they’re small, before they come big and expensive.”

Auberger said he thinks the assistant director’s position needs to be filled.

“You have less to work with,” he said. “You have less manpower than you have in the past, and you have to make sure what needs to be done is getting done. And that’s going to get the director another set of eyes out there for safety, to try and see the problems before they crop up.”