by Dan McClelland
Police officer Jordan Nason, the village PD's K-9 officer, was provisionally appointed as a department sergeant at a special meeting of the village board Friday morning.
Chief Eric Proulx explained that the department is down to only one sergeant at the present time, who is Sgt. Geoff Carmichael, a retired officer from the Saranac Lake village department. To employ Sgt. Carmichael the village must obtain a waiver each year from the state retirement system.
The chief said he recently canvassed his officers and only Officer Nason expressed an interest in the administrative position.
Since he is not currently on the county civil service list as he has not yet taken the sergeant's exam, Officer Nason was appointed provisionally to the new post. Before he can be permanently appointed he will have to attend a three-week supervisor's school in January and successfully complete the sergeant's exam in a fashion he is among the top three on the civic service list.
After schooling, the new sergeant will be able to work with the department full time, even though the provisional appointment continues, the chief explained.
The chief said similar arrangements between the village and other police officers here have done in the past.
Chief Proulx expressed his confidence that the young officer is capable of assuming the new administrative duties with training.
Trustee Ron LaScala, who said he recently met at length with Officer Nason, echoed that sentiment.
In another employment matter that morning, the board officially accepted the resignation of electric department line worker Chad Montana, whose fiancé apparently took a new job out of the area.
Trustee LaScala lamented his departure, noting he was the second electric department worker who has left in recent months.
He explained that it is costly to the village when trained employees leave, after the village has paid for their training.
“There seems to be a lack of foresight into staff planning,” he stated. “We need to find better ways to retain these guys!”
Mayor Paul Maroun estimated that it costs the village about $80,000 to train an electric lineman over the course of four years.
He said there needs to be legal ways to retain them. “They need to stay at least three years!” for the village to recoup its training, he added.
Chief Eric Proulx suggested clearer employee retention language could be negotiated into the next village contract with electric department employees.