2 Rotterdam board members debate suing city for information – The Daily Gazette

Communication continues to be an issue between Rotterdam board members from the previous administration and newcomers.

The outage has led two board members to indicate they will take legal action against the city for the information if they continue to be blocked.

“Come on TEAM, let’s make sure all board members have all the information,” board member Evan Christou said in an email to all fellow board members on Tuesday.

He and board member Samantha Miller-Herrera said the new administration failed to include them in several pieces of information regarding various topics. One of those topics is hiring someone to be the city comptroller after new supervisor Mollie Collins let go of Elizabeth Greenwood who was the city’s chief financial officer.

There are limits on the number of board members who can meet before there is a quorum, which requires notice of a public meeting, deputy supervisor Charles “Jack” Dodson said. .

He said that’s why the interviews that have been conducted so far have consisted of him, supervisor Mollie Collins and finance department employees.

Miller-Herrera said she wanted to participate in the interview process. Collins referred to the process that took place up to the solicitation, not the interview.

“We’ve only been on the job for 8 days and we’ve been facing a lot of issues, such as billing for Extension 1 of Sewer District 2,” Collins said. “We have only just begun the early stages of the search for a monitor and we look forward to feedback from Board members Ms. Miller-Herrera and Mr. Christou once we have selected several candidates to interview.”

Collins said she approached five people who sent in resumes for the job. While the city conducts its research, it will seek to hire a financial consultant to assist with the day-to-day work of the department and help hire and train the person the city selects as comptroller.

The city is looking for someone with experience using the MUNIS system, the software the city has for accounting purposes, Collins said.

“We would also like the candidate to have municipal experience,” she said. “As there are many differences between the private and public sectors, knowledge of municipal accounting is important.”

But it’s not just about the controller’s position that Miller-Herrera and Christou are looking for more information.

“There has also been no response to a request for a Zoom link to be made available for residents who do not wish to attend City Hall for council meetings, in light of the new policy on the masks,” she said.

Collins said there is a mask policy in place requiring them to be worn at City Hall, but there is no real enforcement policy for masking in general.

Miller-Herrera said there were also issues getting documents for Wednesday night’s town meeting.

“There was no response from the supervisor or assistant supervisor regarding the redacted job applications that were attached to the agenda,” Miller-Herrera said. “We requested unredacted copies. Luckily, the Deputy Chief of Police passed them on to us.

Other issues raised by Miller-Herrera include:

  • Failing to obtain additional documentation, including resumes, for ethics committee appointments.
  • Not receiving information regarding the dismissal of the Director of Finance, Director of Public Works, and Paralegal/Government Liaison.
  • No response to a request for a letter Collins sent to the Schenectady County Public Service Department regarding the layoffs.
  • No response to set a time to discuss sewer billing issues has affected some residents of Sewer District 2. Some residents have seen their bills skyrocket from previous years.

“The assistant supervisor told us in an email that he thought he had found the source of the problem and would speak to us about it,” Miller-Herrera said.

Dodson said other than the three layoffs the city has already made, there are no other layoffs. Collins said no letter regarding the layoffs was sent. The county has not received any letters regarding the layoffs, Erin Roberts, the county’s director of communications, said in a Jan. 4 email and a subsequent follow-up email Wednesday.

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