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Watson Twp. considers a part-time office manager

The Watson Township Board had preliminary discussions Thursday night about the possibility of hiring a part-time office manager.

Such a person, according to Attorney Tom Siver, would answer the phone and take messages, sort mail, distribute applications and forms, help manage and coordinate projects, meet with contractors, forward proposals, manage hall and meeting schedules, accept payments for property taxes, variance fees or cemetery services, order office supplies and assist with organizing files.

The employee would work 10 to 12 hours a week and be paid a salary of $10,000 a year.

Township Treasurer Stephanie Caulder, who has office hours Monday nights, said this person would be, “Somebody to answer the phone and perform minor office duties.”

Trustee Jack Wood said, “It’s a step in the right direction for the township and I think we should keep going.”

But Trustee Michelle Harris disagreed, saying, “I think a lot of this could be taken care of if townships officials (the clerk, treasurer and supervisor) had more office hours. We’ve given everybody nice raises (double digit percent increases last March). I would not be for this.”

Supervisor Kevin Travis countered that virtually all township officials have full-time jobs, making it difficult to increase office hours.

“The state’s mandates for public officials are more onerous than in the past,” Travis said.

Wood added, “When people ask questions, they want to talk to a person.”

Siver maintained, “Hiring a part-time manager would help to alleviate some of the issues we have been experiencing such as fielding calls from those residents who only call the hall number. Work day 9 to 5 appointments with contractors because many contractors do not have flexible hours…”

Travis said the matter was only open for discussion and “It’s something we may need to look at down the road.”

In other business Thursday evening, the Township Board:

• Was told by Caulder that the township’s share of the federal American Rescue Plan Act is just under $115,000. A representative for the Safe Harbor service for child abuse and neglect asked the board to use some of the money to help build a new complex on Sherman Street in Allegan.

• Learned from Enforcement Code Officer Marnie Mills that two actions were taken, one an extension for cleanup of a site on 22nd Street and the other referred to the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department on suspicion there was meth lab activity at the location on 114th Avenue.

• Continued discussion about the possibility placing a ballot issue in the August primary to take part in the county’s curbside recycling plan. The recycling site at the township hall has been the repository of many unwanted waste items lately.

• Adopted a resolution to remove former local officials’ names from bank accounts to be replaced by current officials.

• Was told by a representative from the Hopkins Library Board that the search is on for a new director after a vacancy occurred recently.

• Took no action on an offer by United Bank to allow customers to play bills directly via the Internet at a cost of $124 a month.

1 Comment

  • Again, Watson Township officials are doing what they need and not handling the needs of the residents. Office manager should not even be considered with the raises they received. They need to be down there to handle business or give up the 33 percent raises they received.

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