Town chair responds to letterTown of Hudson Chair Jeff Johnson responded to a letter delivered to him at a town board meeting on Monday, Dec. 29 by resident Richard Kinney, essentially asking to see the 2009 contracts of the town’s non-elected employees. Johnson’s response follows:
Town of Hudson Chair Jeff Johnson responded to a letter delivered to him at a town board meeting on Monday, Dec. 29.
In the letter, printed in last week’s Star-Observer, resident Richard Kinney essentially was asking Johnson for 2009 contracts of the town’s non-elected employees. Kinney had originally asked for the contracts at a Dec. 2 meeting. In delivering his letter on Dec. 29, Kinney asked to have the contracts available to him within 72 hours. Late last week, Kinney said he still has not seen the 2009 contracts.
Johnson’s response follows:
“At the Dec. 2 Town Board meeting Kinney demanded all fully executed employment contracts for all non-elected town of Hudson officers and employees. The town clerk dropped off the contracts at my workplace on the afternoon of Dec. 17 while I was away. Since the contracts did not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2009, I saw no need to make a special trip to the Town Hall to drop them off when I needed to be there on Dec. 29 for a meeting anyway.
“When Kinney dropped off his written demand for fully executed contracts and minutes on Dec. 10, the unapproved minutes were not complete and some of the contracts had not even been picked up yet by the employees let alone “fully executed.” Clerk Shaw was alone in the office on Dec. 10 as the treasurer was on an approved vacation day. Mr. Kinney does not request, he demands.
“On Dec. 17, Town Attorney Terry Dunst happened to stop at the Town Hall to drop off a Christmas cheese tray for the office staff. While he was there the clerk explained Kinney’s letter and his demands for immediate compliance. She was told by the attorney that the only fully executed contracts we had to give were for 2008 and since his letter did not specify a date she had to supply the 2008 contracts to fulfill the request.
“On Dec. 29 when Kinney gave me his latest letter after the meeting, I told him to wait and I would provide the information then and there, which was not good enough for Dick. I mailed copies of the “fully executed” contracts to Kinney by certified mail the next morning.
“As far as Kinney’s complaint about the budget working session, we set the dates by consensus at Town Board meetings as an agenda item. At the working sessions, we fill in what estimates we have for revenues and expenditures of a very preliminary nature.
“We update those figures as we get them sometimes almost up to the date of the budget hearing. All working sessions are pretty informal, open to the public and press, and properly noticed and posted. No formal action is taken nor any motions made. Since there is no action, there are no minutes just the budget worksheets.
“The call made to the town attorney on the contracts was with my approval as some of the employees had concerns if any of the information in the contracts should be redacted as confidential. The attorney approved the contracts to be released as they were written.
“When the Dec. 29 meeting was set, the Town Board members knew Supervisor Foster would be in Texas on vacation and Supervisor Kolbe was on ambulance duty that night. We still had a quorum for a very short meeting that consisted of three minor changes to recreational facilities, payment of year-end bills (there were none), discussion of a recording system, and set the date for a Special Exception Hearing.”
In last week’s town of Hudson story, it was incorrectly written that Richard Kinney had read his letter at the Dec. 29 Town Board meeting. In actuality, the letter was delivered to Johnson after the regular meeting.