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Town Board approves creation of recreation leader position

Relief is on its way for Mary E. Josefiak.

Josefiak, the Town of West Seneca's director of youth, recreation and senior services, has been at the helm of the three formerly separate and now consolidated departments since early 2011 and told the Town Board she needs help.

Board members took the first step toward obliging her request Monday evening at a regular meeting of the Town Board, creating a new recreation leader position.

"We knew we were going to need additional staffing down the road," said Supervisor Sheila M. Meegan, explaining that the board charged Josefiak last year with reporting her required staffing needs upon evaluating the workloads in the combined departments.

"Mary needs help, and we recognize the need, and we're going to do what we can," she said, explaining that the town has saved in excess of $100,000 over the last two years with the consolidation.

The supervisor said the job title first needs to be added to the town's "inventory" before it is posted in early May. Josefiak, as department head, will conduct interviews and suggest a provisionary appointment. Meegan expects to fill that post by June.

The provisional hire would be required to take and score high enough on the civil service exam for permanent appointment. Meegan expected the new post to carry with it a salary of about $30,000.

Several members of the public questioned the board's move to add a position to town government after it successfully downsizedjust a year ago. However, Meegan said this move is not unexpected.

"[Josefiak] has taken like a week off in three years," Meegan said.

Josefiak, who will earn $83,796 this year, confirmed she works 12 hours each day and often up to seven days per week to keep up with an ever-increasing workload.

Since she took over at the senior center, for instance, the daily meal loads have grown from about 70 to 170, she said. Programming and events have also been expanded townwide.

Josefiak also handles all of the scheduling and programming for the town's Youth, Recreation and Senior Services departments.

In 2011 alone, West Seneca realized $400,000 in revenue because of the programming, Josefiak pointed out. She hopes to increase that figure.

"In order to grow and do the added programs that we want to, I can't do it alone," she told board members.

In other news, Town Attorney Shawn Martin said a public vote would not be required to move forward with a planned $30 million sewer upgrade in three West Seneca sewer districts. Martin said a referendum is required only when a district is created, merged or added to.

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