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VILLAGE BOARD PROPOSES ADMINISTRATOR'S POST

The Village of Hamburg may soon have an administrator to oversee government fiscal operations and the day-to-day management of Village Hall.

In the absence of a village clerk-treasurer, the Village Board this week created an administrator's position -- as part of a proposed local law -- that would require residency in the county. A public hearing on the proposed law will be held at 8:15 p.m. Nov. 4 during the board's next meeting in Village Hall, 100 Main St.

Noting the vacant clerk-treasurer's position, Mayor John S. Thomas announced the board's resolution to create the administrator's job. The intention is to have that person be the chief fiscal officer and run the daily affairs of the village, with the authority to delegate responsibilities, he said.

When asked later what the job would pay, the mayor refused to say. "That is not open for discussion," he said.

The clerk-treasurer's job has been open since August, when Coleta A. Glass resigned after holding the job since 1981. In early September, the Village Board hired her as a consultant for $50 per hour based on a maximum of 20 hours per week -- until a full-time replacement is hired.

Until now, village officials have been mum about filling the job -- only saying that they hoped to have someone hired in November. Ms. Glass' duties as clerk-treasurer also included budget director and head of personnel and human resources. Initially, 90 persons applied for the job, though that has since been whittled down by village officials reviewing the applications.

Trustee Robert Brogan, who sponsored the administrator resolution, said Tuesday that creating the position will be important to the daily operations of village government. "The administrator would have a little more control, and might be able to work a little more closely with department heads," he said.

It is not clear whether village officials intend the administrator to absorb duties previously handled by the clerk-treasurer, or if there also would be a clerk-treasurer in addition to an administrator.

"This other position -- and it could be the same person all in one -- would have a little more control over the day-to-day operations," Brogan said.

Thomas noted that the administrator concept is not new elsewhere, but that the village has been slow to actually develop it in Hamburg. "We feel it is very necessary," he said.

Village officials said that eventually, they would want the administrator to become a Village of Hamburg resident -- but that they are willing to give the person several months to relocate, if necessary, from another part of Erie County.

"We want to make sure that someone in this position would live in the village," and would not just be using the job as a stepping stone to something better elsewhere, Brogan said.

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