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Tusten cuts CEO’s hours, and he resigns

By Susan LeBar
NARROWSBURG — October 22, 2010 — A week after receiving the resignation of current Code Enforcement Officer David Sparling, the Tusten Town Board made their decision to accept Sparling’s resignation as the town’s building inspector and code enforcement officer.
The tentative budget prepared by Supervisor Peggy Harrison cut the building department’s budget by nearly 30 percent for the upcoming year, and consequently, it resulted in a 40 percent salary cut for Sparling.
Sparling had submitted his resignation after he received a job offer from the Town of Neversink and in his resignation letter noted, “I cannot in good conscience stay in my position that now leaves the town open to lawsuits, and the populace unprotected by an office that inadequately serves.”
Harrison noted that the town is not open to lawsuits because there is not a lot of building going on now, and she made the proposal to Sparling after Sparling informed her that he was interviewing with other towns.
With Sparling’s resignation the town has appointed the building department clerk Jocelyn Strumpfler, who has attended the required courses so she can step in as interim code enforcement officer.
The tentative budget also cuts the hours of the town’s bookkeeper, Karen Valenti, by 40 percent. She was hired as a full time employee, and further serves as the receptionist as well as in other areas where she is needed.
Harrison noted that the bookkeepers in other towns are part time and it is now time for Tusten to step up and do the same as it seeks ways to keep a low budget.
For the past few years the boards have used approximately $100,000 from the unappropriated reserve fund to help in balancing the budget. Higher costs in state retirement and rising health care costs are also to blame for towns having to make cuts in their budgets.

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