CAMDEN — Camden Village Council met Thursday, Dec. 1, to discuss banking options with representatives of Huntington Bank, overtime management for village staff, and water and sewer rate increases.
As part of the staff reports regularly presented to council, Village Administrator Rusty Wilson brought forth a grievance with council regarding questions about overtime management for village staff. With Wilson were members of his staff, who expressed their concern over the inquiries.
“I know there was a conversation about our comp time, our overtime. That’s why everyone is here tonight,” began Wilson. However, council member Doran quickly interjected, “Stop right there. There was no conversation.”
Wilson insisted there was, in fact, conversation during a recent finance meeting. “I feel like not everybody knows what we do on a daily basis. How things do work.” Wilson went on to elaborate that the members of his staff who work overtime are the ones who “know how to make things work” and should thereby be seen as invaluable to the village. According to Wilson, he and his staff must be available around the clock to maintain the village, a responsibility which often requires the use of overtime. Wilson also noted, members of his staff save the village money by keeping maintenance “in-house” rather than outsourcing jobs to private contractors.
“No, my question — just so you guys understand this — I asked how we arrive at numbers for overtime? How do you automatically have a number that you program in for overtime?” Doran stated.
According to Wilson and his staff, it is impossible to calculate how much overtime will be needed during a pay period, and therefore simply has to be figured as necessary. Doran expressed his understanding of the inconvenience Wilson and his staff undergo in maintaining the village at any given time, and believes the staff are “entitled” to their overtime. However, Doran noted, if the village were operated as a private company, he “wouldn’t have it.”
Both Doran and council-president Judy Michael assured Wilson it is simply an inquiry as to how funds are being spent, and how those funds could be more closely tended.
“It’s a discussion that needs to be had,” Doran concluded.
“None of you guys up here have to worry about anything. You turn on your water, you got it. You flush your toilet, you got it. Your streets are clean. We take care of everything here,” added Wilson.
Doran maintained, the conversation was never about “taking away” overtime, but simply tracking down the expenditure of village funds.
During the meeting, no official motion was made regarding the management of overtime hours, nor were overtime hours revoked.
In other business:
•Wilson announced the arrival of the village’s new street sweeper, and assured council they will begin cleaning the streets soon.
•Council met virtually with representatives from Huntington Bank, as part of its ongoing considerations to change the village’s banking patronage. Huntington recommended council to add fraud protection to the potential account plan, which would be a paid benefit. Council made no decision regarding banking, and will meet with other bank representatives in upcoming meetings.
• Council approved Resolution #2058-2022 as an emergency — a resolution allowing the increase of water and sewer rates to be put into effect Jan. 1, 2023.
Camden Village Council meetings are public meetings held on the first and third Thursday of each month, at 7 p.m. at Camden Town Hall.
Reach Nathan Hoskins at 937-683-4057.