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E-town seeks Monday office help without clerk in

ELIZABETHTOWN - The Elizabethtown town clerk will no longer be in the office on Mondays.

Deb Brooks has changed the hours that she will be at the town hall, now being in the office from Tuesday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Previously, her office hours were Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The change was met with some concern at the Jan. 18 town board meeting.

"I would have rather known that this was happening before I got a notice in the mail," councilman Ken Fenimore said. "I think that this change is something that could have been brought to the board's attention either before the letters were sent out or maybe during the budget process a couple of months ago."

Town supervisor Noel Merrihew said he was concerned that there would be one less person in the office on a Monday.

"The phone is ringing and people are walking in all day on Mondays," said Merrihew. "I am in and out of here throughout the day, and my secretary (Mary Sue Wilson) is here during the day, but she is very busy."

Merrihew said the town could either advertise for a person who would be able to work on Mondays or use one of the deputy town clerks in the office on those days.

"I would be careful to advertise any new position if there is the chance that we have people who can already help," town councilman Phil Hutchins said.

Brooks said she was cutting her days (the total number of hours in the office would decrease by two) because of personal and financial reasons.

"I think that she does a good job and I think that she should be getting more money then she does now," town councilman Joe Martin said. "We have not given any elected position a raise in two or four years, and that includes the clerk's position."

Councilmen were cool to forwarding a motion made by Fenimore to look at reducing Brooks's pay based on the reduction in hours.

"It's a dangerous area to get into," Hutchins said. "If we say now that her pay is less and all of the sudden she starts coming in Monday through Friday, isn't it then reasonable that we would have to increase her pay?"

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