Cassadaga hires new utility worker

CASSADAGA – The village of Cassadaga has started the new year with a new utility worker.

At the board’s December meeting, the members of the village board hammered out the terms of employment for Garrett Torrey, whom the board selected to replace Larry Farnham who recently resigned.

Rather than re-advertise the position, the board selected Torrey from those who applied in the summer when Farnham was appointed. According to Mayor LeeAnn Lazarony, Village Attorney Michael Norris told her the board could use the previous applications as long as the recruitment was in the last six months.

The wage for Torrey was set at $13 per hour and he will receive health insurance after 90 days.

Duties of the utility worker include running the water system. Torrey does not have water treatment certification. This impacted the discussion on how long the probationary period for the position should be.

Stockton Town Supervisor David Wilson, who was at the meeting, offered to call an official of the county to learn when the next class will be held in the area. While three-day courses are available at locations some distance away, the next county class will not be available during the next six months. Another option is to use a training manual and the internet.

Eventually the board decided to make the probationary period six months with the option to extend the probationary period if progress on the training is not sufficient.

When the terms of employment were hammered out, the terms were incorporated into a motion appointing Torrey. Trustees Michael Lehnen, Valerie Culverwell, and Rodney Waite voted for the appointment. Trustee Ronald DeChard abstained.

After the meeting when asked the reason for abstention, DeChard said, “I want no part of this fiasco.” He did not elaborate.

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