Terk bids board adieu, Shippee selected for seat
by Lauren Harkawik
Aug 11, 2017 | 2395 views | 0 0 comments | 127 127 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Randall Terk
Randall Terk
DOVER- The Dover Selectboard met for a special meeting on Tuesday. Chair Randall Terk resigned from his seat and the board appointed a new member, Sarah Shippee, to carry out the remainder of Terk’s term. The board also discussed a potential issue with how the town has been handling vacation time for employees.

Terk first announced his impending resignation in May. The board decided to appoint a new member to carry out Terk’s term based on letters of interest, of which they received two, one from Shippee and one from Jim Desrochers.

At Terk’s suggestion, the board voted for the appointment via paper ballot. “The reason I want to do that is that just like any election, no one knows who’s voting for who, you simply have the results,” said Terk. “I think it’s good to have whoever serves on this board come and sit here without saying oh, you voted for me, you didn’t.”

Board member Joe Mahon was not present, but submitted his vote in a sealed envelope prior to the meeting. After the results were tallied and announced by town administrator Jeannette Eckert, vice chair Victoria Capitani thanked Desrochers for his interest. “Hey, I can always run in March,” said Desrochers.

Capitani urged Desrochers to keep coming to meetings, and Desrochers said he plans on it.

Police chief Randy Johnson thanked Terk for his years of service. “Thank you, Randy, for your time,” said Johnson. “I think you really looked out not only for the town but also for the town employees, and I and my department, and I think the rest of the town really, appreciate your service. God bless you and good luck with your endeavors.”

Capitani thanked Terk for everything he’s done for the town, including getting the town’s budget set up on spreadsheets and his leadership as chair. “You’ve been fair and balanced,” said Capitani, “and we’re really going to miss you.”

“I’ve enjoyed it most of the time, it’s been fun most of the time, and it’s been very challenging,” said Terk. “I learned a lot of new things. Just when you really understand everything that’s going on, it’s time to move on. But I appreciate it and I’m glad to have had the opportunity.”

The new iteration of the board, sans Terk and with Shippee, will meet on Tuesday, August 15, at which point the board will reorganize and decide who will act as chair.

Before Terk’s resignation was officially rendered, the board discussed a possible misinterpretation of the town’s vacation policy that may have led to some town employees missing out on allotted vacation time. Terk requested that Eckert do an audit of all current town employees and the vacation time they’ve used versus what they were entitled to for the past seven years. “If there is time that was missed, this board will decide how to handle it,” said Terk.

“My reading of the policy is during your first fiscal year of employment, you get 6.67 hours for every month you complete during that employment,” said Terk. “Once you reach the anniversary of your employment, you now start following the schedule. So for the next five years from your anniversary date, you will get two weeks vacation, or 10 days. Then from the sixth year to the 10th year of your anniversary, you will get three weeks, etc., etc.”

Economic development director Ken Black said an issue with his own vacation time is what led to the discussion. “My start of the three weeks has not occurred at all even though I passed the five-year length of service,” said Black. “I started my sixth year on January 3, 2017. That’s why I raised the issue.”

Board member Tom Baltrus suggested that the language may be confusing because it doesn’t prescribe what to do between the time the fifth-year marker is passed and before the sixth year has been completed. Board member Josh Cohen suggested that taking year ranges out may help simplify the issue.

“So we could say, after the first year, through year five you get two weeks, then through year 10 you get three weeks, and so on,” said Cohen.

The board intends to re-evaluate the policy’s language to make it clearer at its next meeting. Eckert will independently conduct an audit of used and unused vacation time, which she said may not be done in time for the next meeting.
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