CANTON — Residents voted 8-0 Thursday to repeal the Administrative Assistant Ordinance, after selectmen said they want to divide up the duties and reduce the cost of office staff.

The position includes tax collector, treasurer, town clerk, registrar of voters, sewer secretary, collector and treasurer, according to the 2001 ordinance.

Carol Buzzell was appointed as interim administrative assistant after Tina Cagle resigned in November without stating a reason.

Addressing voters at the special town meeting, Selectman Brian Keene said, “We’re looking at how we can rearrange the duties in the office so we can get the most out of our employees and get the best-qualified people for the positions. In order to do that we need to divide up the duties that are listed here.”

He said the town could “get by with a part-time treasurer.”

Resident Rob Walker asked why selectmen weren’t amending the ordinance.

Selectman Scotty Kilbreth, who was administrative assistant from 2013 to 2018, said, “We can pick and choose the talent; that’s the thing. The past administrative assistants, and I’m talking from practical experience, weren’t well versed in every one of those areas.”

In regards to reducing personnel costs, Buzzell said, “The town clerk and the deputy clerk would both be working just 30 hours, though the Town Office would still be open 40. There would be one day that we would rotate taking off, and that would reduce (costs) a significant amount.”

That would pay for an additional treasurer, she said.

At the selectmen meeting later in the evening, a written agreement with Jay to swap plowing duties on two roads was discussed.

According to Selectman Russell Adams, Canton would plow Route 140 to Gingras Road in Jay and Jay would plow the Canton section of Canton Mountain. The swap would provide “safety on turnaround at the town line, so they can both turn around on a straightaway,” he said.

Selectmen also decided to trim trees on both sides of Meadow View Road so the road can be graded, Keene said. Trimming will likely be done in late spring after consulting a forester, he said.

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