PERU — Nearly a month after voting to change the town’s secretary position from a part-time to full-time position, the Board of Selectmen voted 5-0 Monday evening to switch the position back to part time.

Town Clerk Vera Parent said Secretary Angela Barkhouse resigned from her position effective May 13 for personal reasons.

The board advertised the position as a 25- to 30-hour job with no health insurance.

Parent said they received one application, from a person who said she wouldn’t be able to take the position unless it were full time with benefits.

On May 23, the board voted 3-1 to change the position to full time with benefits. They re-advertised the position and received five additional applications.

However, Selectman Carol Roach said Monday that she went back over town reports and reviewed articles approved by voters in previous years.


“Based on my review, I do not believe that, at this point in time, this board has the authority to change the position to full time,” Roach said. “We need to look at our authority granted by the citizens of this town before we even discuss whether or not we can go ahead with the interviews. It looks to me like changing the secretary position to full time would require a town meeting.”

Roach’s review showed that in June 2012, “the electorate said specifically that the position was set for 25 to 30 hours per week,” she said. “Therefore, I do not believe that this board has the authority to change it to full time without another town vote.”

Selectman Larry Snowman agreed with Roach, pointing out that nothing has been voted on by the town since 2012 to change the position back to full time.

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