Wilton board considers personnel policies

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WILTON — A personnel policy is being drafted for town employees, Town Manager Rhonda Irish told the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday.

Part of it deals with use of town vehicles, she said.

Department leaders for Recreation, Public Works and the Police Department have use of a town vehicle after work hours.

During a discussion at their last meeting, some board members asked for the Recreation Committee to give reasons for Recreation Director Frank Donald’s use of a department truck.

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Four members of the committee attended Tuesday’s meeting to support Donald.

“It’s not about defending him,” Selectman Tiffany Maiuri said. “It’s about understanding why.”

Although policy decisions about employees fall outside the scope of the committee, Chairwoman Stacey Damon and other members said efficiency is the main reason for Donald using a truck.

Members said Donald opens the park at times in the summer and winter and closes it on summer nights. He often works a split shift in the winter, taking part of the afternoon off and returning for evening recreation programs, one member said.

They voiced concerns about vandalism if the truck was not kept in a safe place, as well as the inconvenience for Donald to drive to the truck, drive it to the park and then return it.

“It’s not a 9-to-5 job,” Town Manager Rhonda Irish said.

When he was hired, Donald said his pay rate was “significantly lower than other towns this size.” Use of the truck was part of the salary package, he said.

His home is less than two miles from the park.

“It’s not the mileage,” he said. “It’s the convenience.”

Because boards change so much, decisions and promises can get lost, Irish said.

The board agreed a policy that fits everyone should be adopted.

There’s also a question of liability for town employees using their vehicles for work and payments for mileage that needs to be considered, Irish said.

Vehicle use needs to be documented, and a log should be kept on when the truck was driven and what it was used for, Selectman Terry Brann said.

abryant@sunjournal.com

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