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No decision yet on Hamburg Buildings and Grounds Department

After spending more than two hours in executive session, Hamburg Town Board members had no updates Monday night on who will run the Buildings and Grounds Department -- or for how much money.

Hamburg Highway Superintendent Ted Casey said he wants to continue overseeing the Buildings and Grounds Department, and never said he wanted to get out of doing it.

The Town Board discussed the leadership of Buildings and Grounds two weeks ago.

Casey, who was elected in November and started the job on Jan. 1, said he is spending more time than anticipated on Buildings and Grounds work, and a proposed resolution that would have removed him as head of the department was tabled at about 10:20 p.m. Monday.

"At no time did I say I wanted to rid myself of buildings and grounds," Casey said. "I want to work with the board to come to an amicable solution."

Town Supervisor James M. Shaw said in the board's work session the salaries and stipends have been set for the year and cannot be changed. He said Casey has been lobbying him for weeks for a higher stipend.

"There is no amicable solution. You're either doing this for 2,500 bucks or you're not doing it, from my point of view," Shaw said, during the board's work session.

Shaw proposed appointing the current foreman of Buildings and Grounds, who made $4,500 extra as foreman, to manage the department on an interim basis, and another employee to be the deputy and receive a $2,500 stipend.

The resolution said Casey does not want to run the department any more -- a statement with which Casey disagreed.

TheĀ duties of highway superintendents are laid down in state law, and include taking care of highways and bridges. They are not required to operate another department, but many superintendents have taken on additional work, including several in Erie County.

The two operations were separate departments in Hamburg until Jan. 1, 1997, when the highway superintendent took over supervision of Buildings and Grounds.

Town Councilman Michael Petrie said he did not think Casey wanted to leave the Buildings and Grounds position or that he would abandon it. He said he thought the board would get together and discuss options.

"My take on it was that we were in the middle of discussing this," Councilwoman Beth Farrell added.

Councilman Tom Best Jr. called Casey disingenuous and said he did not want to negotiate with him. Casey beat Best's father in November's election to win the job.

"You knew what you were getting when you ran for the job," Best told Casey.

Casey, who makes $81,266 as highway superintendent, said he spends at least half his time managing the Buildings and Grounds Department.

"Something has to change," he said, adding there are multiple problems with the department. He did not elaborate on what those are.

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