2 Rotterdam board members debate suing town to get information


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

The breakdown has led to two board members indicating they will file a lawsuit against the town to get the information if they continue to be stonewalled.

“Come on TEAM, let’s make sure everyone on the board has all the information,” said Board Member Evan Christou in an email to all of his board counterparts Tuesday.

He and Board Member Samantha Miller-Herrera have said the new administration has not been including them on several pieces of information regarding various topics. One of those topics is hiring someone to be the town’s comptroller after new Supervisor Mollie Collins let go of Elizabeth Greenwood who had been the director of finance in town.

There are limits on how many board members can meet together before there is a quorum, requiring the notice of a public meeting, said Deputy Supervisor Charles “Jack” Dodson.

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

Miller-Herrera said she wants to be part of the interview process. Collins referred to the process that has taken place so far as canvassing, not interviewing. 

“We have only been in office for 8 days and have had many issues come before us, such as the billing for Sewer District 2 Extension 1,” Collins said. “We have only begun the early stages of canvassing for a comptroller and look forward to input from Councilmembers Ms. Miller-Herrera and Mr. Christou when we have chosen several candidates to interview.” 

Collins said she has canvassed five individuals who have sent in resumes for the position. While the town is conducting its search it will look to hire a financial consultant to help with the day-to-day work of the department and assist in hiring and training whomever the town picks as its comptroller. 

The town is seeking someone with experience using the MUNIS system, the software the town has for its accounting purposes, Collins said. 

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

But it’s not just the comptroller’s position that Miller-Herrera and Christou are seeking more information on.

“There has also been no response to a request that a Zoom link be made available for residents who don’t want to come to town hall for the board meetings, in light of the new policy about masks,” she said.

Collins indicated there is a mask policy in place requiring they be worn in town hall, but that there is no real enforcement policy for masking in general.

Miller-Herrera said there were problems getting documents for the town’s Wednesday night meeting too.

“There was no response from the supervisor or deputy supervisor about the redacted employment applications that were attached to the agenda,” Miller-Herrera said. “We requested unredacted copies. Luckily, the deputy chief of police forwarded them to us.”

Other issues Miller-Herrera brought up include:

  • Not getting additional documentation, including resumes, for appointments to the Ethics Board.
  • Not receiving information regarding the termination of the director of finance, the director of public works and the paralegal/governmental liaison.
  • No response to a request for a letter Collins sent to the Schenectady County Civil Service Department regarding layoffs.
  • No response to set a time to discuss the sewer billing issues affected some residents of Sewer District 2. Some residents saw their bills skyrocket compared to years prior.

“The Deputy Supervisor told us in an email he believes he has found the source of the problem and would tell us about it,” Miller-Herrera said.

Dodson said other than the three terminations the town has already made there are no other layoffs. Collins said no letter regarding layoffs have been sent. The county has not received any letter regarding layoffs, said Erin Roberts, the director of communications for the county in a Jan. 4 email and subsequent follow up email Wednesday. 

Categories: News, Rotterdam, Schenectady County

William Marincic January 13, 2022
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Here is irony at its best, the daily gazette writes a story about a Rotterdam board member not wearing a mask and two stories below it the daily gazette writes a story that Union College is only requiring medical grade masks because cloth masks don’t work. You can’t make this stuff up.