WEST PARIS – Selectmen have tentatively scheduled a special town meeting for May 8 to update residents about a problem with employees’ 2002 wages.

The board will also use the occasion to discuss some employees having to refile 2002 tax forms as well as cover some other housekeeping issues that need to go before the voters.

According to recently elected Town Clerk Cheryl Shattenberg, the date of the meeting is contingent on when the town’s attorney and auditors can be available for the meeting. She plans to confirm the date as soon as it’s established.

Shattenberg added that the main issue at the meeting will be an update on the review of the 2002 books and the other housekeeping issues. A warrant for the meeting will be forthcoming as soon as the date is definite.

She explained that employee tax incomes did not match figures on the town’s form 941 and they were overstated by approximately $15,000. This means that 14 of 48 employees who had overstatements will have to have their income taxes amended and refiled regarding wages. This will add up to $50 to $150 per employee.

The cause for the confusion was that some checks overlapped so it appeared that some checks actually went out twice. This calls for refiling in order to set the records straight.

It was also noted that refiling will cost each employee involved, but the selectmen voted to cover the cost in every case.

Selectman Toby Whitman said, “We should pay the costs for our employees because what has happened was not their fault. It’s only fair that we treat them fair.”

Shattenberg agreed with Whitman when she added, “It isn’t their fault. Mistakes were made and need to be addressed and corrected.”

The project, however, has become a tedious task for Shattenberg. This resulted in a vote by the selectmen at Thursday meeting to turn the entire review over the town’s auditors.

“Cheryl has done a tremendous job so far,” said Chairman Harlan Abbott, “but in doing the review of the whole year 2002 she has not had time to do the town clerk’s job that she was elected to do. It should be on the shoulders of the auditors to do the review so Cheryl can do her regular job.”

The vote to place responsibility for the remainder of the review on the shoulders of the auditors was unanimous.

Shattenberg praised her colleagues on the office staff, Jane Littlehale and Beverly Edmunds, for their undaunted support and dedication to the job of resolving the existing problems.

“I salute Jane and Bev for their perseverance and support,” she said.



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