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Hiring of planning director quashed


STONINGTON — A request from the first selectman for money to hire a director of planning has been delayed so long it’s now moot, said Board of Finance members.

The 2013-14 budget contains $40,000 to hire a director of planning beginning Jan. 1 through the end of the fiscal year on June 30. However, First Selectman Edward Haberek Jr. announced in June he would be requesting an additional appropriation of $37,576 from the Board of Finance to fund the position through the end of the calendar year.

Over the summer, members of both the Board of Finance and the Planning and Zoning Commission discussed whether a director of planning is needed. Some officials suggested hiring a consultant to determine if the position is needed.

At the July Board of Finance meeting, then-Chairman Glenn Frishman delayed any decision until the next meeting in September. At that September meeting, Frishman tabled the discussion because Haberek was late for the meeting. In October, the board tabled the discussion without giving a reason.

John O’Brien, who was elected chairman at the beginning of the meeting, said this is the time to start the hiring process for Jan. 1, and there was no point in appropriating extra money now. The decision has been delayed enough, added member June Strunk, that there was no point in hiring a consultant any more.

The position, required by town charter, has been vacant since the death of director of planning William R. Haase in April 2012. The position was first filled on an interim basis by town planner Keith Brynes and then by Haberek.

In other news, the board tabled a discussion on the policy for use of town-owned cars. The discussion was prompted by a complaint that Haberek was misusing his town-leased car by bringing it home. The policy subcommittee, consisting of Frishman and O’Brien, will meet with Director of Administrative Services Vincent Pacileo III to discuss and then report back to the Board of Finance, they said.

Frishman was voted the board secretary. He had previously been the chairman of the finance board, and O’Brien had been the secretary.



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