Employment details settled with Brewster

FORESTVILLE – By a 3-1 vote, the Forestville Village Board approved a pay rate of $18.54 per hour, a 40-hour work week and time and a half for overtime for the former mayor and current Streets and Water Supervisor Charles Brewster.

Trustee Linda Aures voted “nay” and after the vote was taken explained her reasoning. Although she served with Trustee Kimberly Stott on a committee to look at the candidates, Aures was also the sole vote against the appointment of Brewster when he was appointed on Oct. 30.

Brewster has served in the position effective Nov. 5, but some conditions of employment, such as hours of work, salary and payment for overtime were not established at the time of hire.

During the workshop portion of the meeting, the board discussed what the probationary period should be for Brewster. Carol Woodward thought that three months was adequate, but after discussion, the board granted Aures her request for a six-month probationary period. At the request of Aures, they also clarified the time Brewster was given to complete his water license from “in a timely manner” to nine months from the first available class.

In her explanation, Aures indicated she was unhappy with the process from the beginning. She wondered where the village lawyer was in the process.

“We filled a position before we had a job description,”she said. “We put the cart before the horse. As I said from the beginning, we did this ‘bass-ackwards.'”

Noting that the former streets and water supervisor was paid $16.54 per hour after 15 years experience, she called the approved rate of pay “unconscionable.”

Brewster was again present to give a report concerning his job. He said that the water project was proceeding on schedule and he was working with the contractor to confirm the locations of the old pipes. Daily testing has been fine since the boil water order was rescinded. He thanked the village residents for their cooperation with the effort to clear the brush and leaves in the village. He noted that he and John Carpenter repaired the water leak on Center Street.

In the public comment section of the meeting Forestville resident Michael Wojtkowiak commended Aures for voting her conscience on the salary. He stated that if the salary had been noted at the time of the job opening, “it seems to me you could have drawn a better clientele.”

He continued, “You could have done a lot better than an auto mechanic. Chuck was either foolish to accept the job without knowing the salary or knew something. … The Village of Forestville looks pretty shady.”

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