Fulton Lawmakers Close To Eliminating Another Job

Fulton City lawmakers are a step closer to combining the jobs of City Clerk and City Chamberlain.

Thursday, they okayed holding a public hearing on the plan to blend the two jobs.  The jobs are spelled out in the city Charter and Code.  Changes to the Charter require a public hearing before the Council can vote.

City Clerk Joe Tetro’s retirement gave the city the opportunity to merge the job into the duties carried out by longtime City Chamberlain Jim Laboda.

“Many cities around the state are going to (combined) clerk/chamberlains,” explained Mayor Ron Woodward.

He said Laboda, who is already handling the duties of the two offices, turned down a $10,000 increase in his $50,000 salary to take on the new work.  He accepted a $5,000 raise.

“This is one more position we’ve consolidated at a cost savings,” Woodward said.  He said the city has cut 7 positions during his administration, including combining the Public Works and Water and Sewer Departments when one of the department heads left.

One resident wondered why Laboda should have gotten a raise at all, if he could handle both duties within his workday.  Woodward and members of the Council said Laboda doesn’t handle the duties within his regular workday.  They said he works extra-long days during the week and can usually be seen in his office on Saturdays or Sundays.

Executive Assistant to the Mayor Kathy Trowbridge added that Laboda took on a third job, handling the building’s information technology, without being asked to.  She said she’s seen him up in the ceiling, pulling wires and cables.

Alderman Russ Hayden agreed that Laboda’s replacement might not make as much money as Laboda makes, but that would be subject to negotiation.

The public hearing will be held December 1.