Selectmen said they want better control over office activities.

WEST PARIS – Starting immediately, if more than two hours of overtime by town office staff is expected in a week selectmen must approve it.

The board agreed that at times it may be difficult to predict the need for overtime, but it is hoped the office staff will do its best to notify the board of such a need.

“We need to know when, how much and why overtime is needed,” said Chairman Wade Rainey, “so we know what is happening at all times in the office.”

He also said that in 2002 there were times when too much overtime was billed, and to reduce costs for the town better controls need to be in place regarding overtime.

Town Clerk Cheryl Shattenberg said more overtime was required after she became town clerk in March while she and her staff have addressed problems in accounting and poor bookkeeping resulting from last year.

“We have had to spend extra time to straighten out problems in the office and that has called for more overtime, but as soon as these problems are straightened there shouldn’t be the need for a lot of overtime,” she said.

Shattenberg also said she and her staff have been working some overtime of late, but have not put in for the extra pay. “We have taken the overtime as comp time.”

Asked who she should contact to get approval for overtime, Rainey said to notify him and if he was not available then another selectmen.

The board also voted that there will no longer be any phone cards issued to town employees. The reason is that calls have been made to as far away as Texas with no way of knowing who was responsible or why they were made.

“I don’t see any need for anyone having a phone card. There’s too much chance for misuse. If anyone needs to make a call to carry out town business the call can be made from the office by someone on the office staff,” he said.

Shattenberg explained she had issued a card to the transfer station attendants earlier this spring so they could notify the town’s hauler when bins needed to be hauled. Station attendant Wayne Theofrastou acknowledged that it would not be very difficult to notify the hauler, D&E Sanitation, through the office when there is a need to have bins hauled.

It was decided that the need to haul bins can be projected at least three days in advance fairly accurately and the phone cards can be returned to the town office.

It was decided to hire Cindy Parker to do a complete cleaning of the town office for $150. She was the only bidder. The job includes washing walls, windows, woodwork and counter tops. Professional carpet cleaners will also be hired.

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