by Michael Torelli
A series of modifications to municipal jobs were recently approved by the Town Council, including increasing the hours of two Cheshire Public Library staff members and creating a youth program coordinator position.
On Aug. 13, Councilors voted in favor of eliminating one 20-hour adult services librarian position and increasing the hours of two 25-hour adult services librarian positions. The change, which will increase the two roles to 35-hour jobs, is expected to be cost-neutral, according to Town Manager Sean Kimball.
“This is something we looked at very closely,” Kimball said. “With this recently-vacated position, I think we have an opportunity here on a cost-neutral basis … to really kind of streamline and provide more consistency and coverage with these two positions.”
Library Director Beth Crowley commented that, at her prior places of employment, she tried to create full-time positions that did not impact the budget, when possible. She explained that the Library is open approximately 62 hours per week and that having full-time staff ensures more shifts are filled.
“We do have a lot of shifts to cover, but I do find that having full-time people to cover those shifts is more efficient and easier to staff,” she said.
The adult services librarian position requires a master’s degree, Crowley continued. Having the positions be full-time would draw more candidates when filling vacancies.
The staff member who worked 20 hours per week left the Library for “a more competitive, full-time position,” Crowley continued.
“Full-time positions are much more attractive than the part-time positions,” stated Crowley.
Councilwoman Sylvia Nichols voiced her support for Crowley’s request, recognizing that full-time staff would feel their roles are important to the Library and will provide them a chance to take ownership of their jobs.
“Having managed part-time and full-time employees over many years, there is a definite efficiency by having as many full-time employees as you can,” she said.
The Council also supported changing the title of clerk typist for the Planning Department to general services clerk, who will be tasked with providing clerical tasks to various Town departments.
“It took the existing clerk typist position in Planning and made the changes to give them the ability to float (to other departments),” explained Assistant Town Manager Louis Zullo.
The staff member is already helping different Town departments, Zullo added. The change, he continued, appears to be successful.
“I think it’s worked well,” Zullo said. “It’s parts of days, too. They may not take her for the full day.”
The youth program coordinator position combines the responsibilities previously assigned to a few part-time and full-time positions at the Human Services Department, according to Zullo.
“This reflects the job description that was developed by Michelle (Piccerillo, human services director) and (Youth Program Supervisor) Lauren Blackwell,” explained Zullo.
The role will be tasked with providing assistance in the daily operation and onsite supervision of the Yellow House and related youth programs, field trips, and special events, according to the job description.