The Town of Crawford is considering adding an extra day to the town clerk's three-day work week. Public works director Bruce Bair said at the Dec. 7 meeting that Town Clerk Cally Gallegos is already working the equivalent of a four-day week. The 2017 budget provides for a 40-hour work week, and Bair suggested she work extra hours on an as-needed basis.
Town Hall is currently closed Mondays and Fridays. Gallegos was hired last January to work Tuesday through Thursday. Bair said he understands the town is dealing with budgetary issues, but he also doesn't believe it's fair that Gallegos is working the equivalent of a full-time job without full-time benefits.
Crawford resident and former mayor Jim Crook expressed support for opening Town Hall for the additional hours. He said the town grappled with this issue a couple of years back, before former clerk Jackie Savage "convinced the council, when it was really necessary" to be open five days a week, that she should work a three-day week. If the clerk isn't in the office, then the two public works employees have to deal with issues that arise while she's out, and at a higher pay level, said Crook. Regardless of who is clerk, said Crook, "It should be a full-time position."
Mayor Wanda Gofforth suggested the position should remain part-time. If it goes to five days, the town would be obligated to provide Gallegos with paid vacations and sick leave as well as the same $750 per month stipend for health insurance council voted to give Bair and Al Boyd last November. At the time council also approved changes to the town's employee handbook that reflect that full-time benefited employees will not receive insurance benefits. It may become necessary to reduce that number, said Gofforth.
In approving the stipend council also discussed a possible health savings account plan using pre-tax dollars. It was determined that the program limits spending to $3,150 annually, an amount that falls far short of the current insurance benefit.
Mayor pro tem Mike Tiedeman reminded council that Gallegos was hired to work part-time, and that the budget is tight.
Gallegos said she works Fridays at another job and doesn't want to give it up. Council agreed to table the issue to give Gallegos time to consider her options.