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Crawford expands hours for town clerk to full time

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Citing an increased workload, trustees for the Town of Crawford voted last week to increase the town clerk's hours from part time to full time. The office will be open Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., starting in two weeks after clerk Cally Gallegos gives notice to her second employer.

Mayor Wanda Gofforth explained to trustees that Gallegos will very soon see an increase in her workload when the town begins the process of adopting an ordinance addressing emergency management, which will detail processes for catastrophic events that may happen in town. Gofforth said that on top of Gallegos's daily clerk duties, the research of old ordinances and preparation for the emergency management ordinance will take a lot of time that she currently doesn't have due to her three-day-a-week work schedule.

Last year, as the town was preparing the 2017 budget, trustees did budget for full time salary for the clerk, in anticipation that she would go full time at some point this year. However, they neglected to budget for an increase in funds that assist with employee health care.

Several years ago, the town provided health insurance for its full time employees. Toward the end of 2015, when the premiums got too high, the town cut health care for its employees and instead offered cash assistance on top of their monthly salary, with the hopes that employees would use that money to purchase their own health care. The two full time employees, public works crew Bruce Bair and Al Boyd, each receive $750 per month on top of their salary.

With Gallegos moving to full time, trustees struggled with how to accommodate her health care funds. Gofforth suggested splitting the budgeted amount between three employees, giving each $500 per month to help with health care.

"I'm concerned about Bruce and Al having to give up $250 a month, but I guess we don't have any choice," said trustee Hetty Todd.

"There is no more money there," Gofforth agreed.

When asked how he felt, Bair replied, "I'm not excited about it, but I also understand that the town has limited resources."

Trustees unanimously approved the move to full time hours for Gallegos, and the three-way split of health care funds. They also plan to reexamine the budget line item later this fall as they prepare the 2018 budget.

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