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AMHERST BOARD TELLS LONGO HE MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN TOWN CLERK, PRIVATE-SECTOR JOBS

Amherst Town Clerk Daniel A. Longo said Monday that he spent 15 hours at his private-sector job last week during town business hours.

He has until today to tell Town Board members which job he plans to keep.

Republicans on the Town Board said Longo can't work both jobs, and they plan to raise his second job as a campaign issue in his race for the Town Board.

"You can't serve two masters," said James P. Hayes, a Republican council member who's seeking re-election in November. "You can't charge town taxpayers $55,000 a year and expect to duck out most mornings to go to another job."

Longo, a Democrat, said he intends to remain a candidate for the Town Board.

An information management specialist, Longo succeeded Susan J. Grelick, a Democrat and the town's new supervisor, in January. At the time, he promised not to run for the $55,000-a-year clerk's position, which is on the ballot next month. The vow swung needed votes his way on a board controlled, 4-3, by Republicans.

It also left him needing a job with his one-year appointment expiring at year's end.

Longo said he accepted a job offer from Marriott Accounting and Control Center in October. He will be a manager in an office that handles the company's records and accounts for hospital and school food service.

Longo said he agreed to work full time for the company after the Nov. 4 election, but its merger with another company required him to attend meetings last week.

"I had to spend some time there," Longo said. "The timing is the worst. It's an uncomfortable situation."

In a private meeting Monday, Amherst's personnel director told Town Board members about Longo's absences last week.

Ms. Grelick said Town Board members would discuss his status today ". . . after we hear what he decides."

Republican Council Member William L. Kindel said Longo must choose between the jobs.

"I'm not comfortable with what's going on," Kindel said. "It reflects poorly on the Town Board. As far as I'm concerned, we can't tolerate it."

Also Monday, Ms. Grelick said only two of the four ice rinks planned for the town's new skating arena would be open by next September.

An unsuccessful court fight to force a referendum delayed the project, said Council Member Jane S. Woodward.

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