Johnstown time clock resolution stopped

JOHNSTOWN — Town employees won’t be punching a time clock anytime soon after the Town Board chose not to consider a resolution to purchase them.

At the last Town Board meeting Councilman Tim Rizzo attempted to put forward a resolution to purchase two electronic time clocks, at approximately $500 apiece, one for the Town Highway Department and one for Town Hall, but no one on the town board would second his proposal.

“There is no second. I did this deliberately. The board does not want to move forward with having adequate time keeping,” Rizzo said. “That’s another issue that was raised by the comptroller in 2013.”

Rizzo said he had asked Supervisor Jack Wilson prior to the meeting for information that would show when employees have worked, when they took vacation time and other statistical data. At the meeting, Rizzo said he had gotten the information about Town Highway employees, but not the information for town hall employees. Rizzo said the paperwork provided was inadequate.

“I didn’t even ask for what’s written here. This isn’t what I asked for, I wanted statistics stuff,” Rizzo said.

“I’m not a statistician,” Wilson said. “You asked for overtime, time off. You got the whole package. Tim, I’ve been up to my ears working with this accounting stuff that’s going on. Within a couple of days, you’ll have the town hall stuff.”

Rizzo said Monday that Wilson did provide him with information from town hall employees, but he said it was still inadequate.

“He got me stuff, but it’s basically a gibberish, crappy form of record keeping for who worked when,” Rizzo said. “How do we give somebody raises or adequately evaluate somebody when we don’t have proper statistics, when we don’t know who’s working when. What about liability? What if somebody got hurt? There’s no accountability.”

During the meeting, town officials disputed Rizzo’s argument that a time clock was needed to improve record keeping for employees. One official pointed out that only four employees work in Town Hall.

“That’s why it’s crazy. He’s trying to fix something that ain’t broke,” Wilson said. Superintendent of Highways T.J. Bradt said the 2013 comptroller’s report referenced by Rizzo did not require the town to purchase a time clock system.

“The only reason it was an issue in 2013 is we did not have a time card. [Now] we have time cards that [were] approved by the auditors. All you have to do is sign them,” Bradt said. “I know people who work for the county, right now, they sign their time card more than they punch it, because the time clock doesn’t work half the time.”

Rizzo said the statistical information a time clock could provide would clean up the town’s employee record keeping.

“What is the harm of a time clock where an employee punches in, punches out, takes vacation time and punches out vacation time, punches out when they go to a dentist appointment without taking sick time? What’s the harm in that? I would then have a record,” Rizzo said. “[The information provided by Wilson and Bradt] doesn’t say ‘hey, in 2016 employee X worked 2,000 hours and took 20 hours of vacation and sick time,” — just a statistical breakdown of each employee — it’s not here. It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack.”

Rizzo said he believes he is prohibited by state municipal law from bringing back the time clock resolution for approximately two months. He said he is going to explore the idea of trying to have a referendum in November to purchase the time clocks.

By Patricia Older

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