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January 16, 2014

Auditors set Pulaski Township wages

NEW CASTLE — The Pulaski auditors did not take the recommendation of the township supervisors on roadmaster wages Wednesday.

Instead, auditors Bruce Clingan and Dan Abramson set hourly wages at $15.50 for Supervisor Greg Carna when he acts as roadmaster and $10 for Supervisors Sam Varano and Lori Sniezek when they do so. The third auditor, James Miller, was not at the meeting.

Clingan said Carna should be paid more because he has a commercial driver’s license and can drive a truck if highway work needs to be done.

The supervisors had requested the auditors set the roadmaster wages for all three supervisors at $14.45 per hour.

Varano had told the New Castle News this is what the roadmasters have received for approximately the last six years.

He said the supervisors do limited roadmaster work, probably not amounting to a total of 40 hours for all three of them in 2013.

All the supervisors have jobs elsewhere and work as roadmaster only on an emergency basis.

Most of the road work is done by full-time employees who get $16 and $17 per hour and part-timers who make $12 per hour.

“I realize that the wages paid for roadmaster are at present minimal,” Abramson said, “and, I have always supported and approved what they asked for, but I still believe I have a right to know how much they made.” He added every taxpayer has a right to these figures.

Abramson commented the township had not complied with his request prior to the meeting to give him figures outlining what the supervisors had been paid last year in roadmaster wages.

The supervisors, through the township secretary, told him he had to file an open records request, which means waiting up to five days and paying for the copies.

He said that as an elected official, he believes he is entitled to the information without making a formal request and refused to do so.

The auditors also set their 2015 re-organizational meeting for 1 p.m. Jan. 6.

This is the day the auditors are required by law to re-organize. The meeting time had been disputed this year because the supervisors had set a 7 p.m. Jan. 7 meeting without consulting the auditors.

Clingan and Abramson had objected that they could not make a 7 p.m. meeting and wanted it at 1 p.m.

The supervisors initially said Clingan and Abramson would have to pay to re-advertise another meeting and reimburse the township for the initial advertisement.

However, the township paid for re-advertisement of Wednesday’s meeting and has not asked Abramson and Clingan again for reimbursement.

The auditors also agreed to send a letter to the township supervisors asking them to reverse their decision at last week’s meeting that they will not pay for the auditors to attend the fall and spring meetings of the Lawrence County Association of Township Supervisors.

Abramson said the auditors always have been allowed to attend.

The township previously paid the auditors $50 for attending, as provided in the Second Class Township Code, as well as the approximate $15 cost of the dinner and gas mileage.

The meetings include speakers on township topics and exhibits of items communities can purchase.

Abramson said the Second Class Township Code recommends auditors attend these meetings. The codes states, referring to county and state township conventions, that officials including auditors “shall attend the conventions when possible.”

The auditors also re-organized, naming Clingan as chairman and Abramson as secretary.

None of the supervisors attended Wednesday’s meeting.

(Email: grzebieniak@ncnewsonline.com)

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