MASSENA Mayor James F. Hidys proposal to give department heads more power when hiring employees failed to gain the support of the village Board of Trustees last week.
The boards Personnel Committee, formed in 2010 before Mr. Hidy was elected mayor, oversees village hires, selects final candidates for jobs and sits in on interviews conducted by department heads, who then make hiring recommendations to the board. Trustees Francis J. Carvel and Albert C. Herb Deshaies are the committees two members.
Mr. Hidy wants department heads to regain their former responsibility of selecting five final candidates. That responsibility should be left with them, he said.
I see this as a non-micromanaging type of process, Mr. Hidy said. This is what we pay those folks to do.
They know their departments. They know what theyre looking for in an applicant, he said.
The rest of the board disagreed. While no vote was taken, a discussion on the topic revealed that Mr. Hidy did not have the support he needed to change the policy.
Im OK to leave this as it is at the moment, Trustee Patricia K. Trish Wilson said.
Mr. Carvel said the current policy was put in place only a short while ago, and he saw no need to change it
Theres a check and balance, he said.
Trustee Timothy J. Ahlfeld said there must be a good reason why the Personnel Committee exists, as neither he nor Mr. Hidy was on the board when it formed.
You and I werent here when they ran into the hornets nest, Mr. Ahlfeld said.
Hornets nest referred to the controversial 2009 hiring of a Department of Public Works employee. Officials proposed the committee after citizens began questioning the role then-Mayor Randy G. DeLosh played in hiring a Virginia man he characterized as a family friend, Nicholas G. Shakallis, to fill a DPW post.
Mr. Shakallis resigned a few months later. At the time of the committees formation, trustees said it would ensure the villages hiring process was conducted fairly.
But Mr. Hidy said the problem was because of Mr. DeLosh, and not because of the department heads, who he said did as they were told.
Did you want to hire that guy? he asked DPW Superintendent Hassan A. Fayad at Tuesdays meeting.
Mr. Fayad did not answer.
While in favor of keeping the committee, Ms. Wilson did wonder how Mr. Carvel and Mr. Deshaies selected five candidates to interview out of a pile of applications.
What qualifies the representatives from the Personnel Committee to know who the qualified candidates are? she asked.
You look at the work experience and what they put on the applications, Mr. Carvel replied.