Who should have the authority?
The issue to be voted on next Tuesday is simply a matter of who should have the authority to appoint a bookkeeper for the town. Under the New York State Municipal Law, the bookkeeper position had been listed as bookkeeper/confidential secretary to the supervisor and hence was designated as an appointment by the supervisor. Ever since the bookkeeper position was established in Tusten in 1967, the minutes document that the appointment of bookkeeper had been made by the full town board, in agreement with the supervisor, at its organization meeting each year, with no exceptions, until this year when no appointment was made.
Although the supervisor has been performing the duties of bookkeeper, the auditors for the Town of Tusten have told the board at a regular meeting that this is a serious internal weakness. Municipal bookkeeping has become a more complex job, with additional responsibilities beyond simply paying the bills. The decision voters will make on Tuesday is whether the person who will be taking on these responsibilities should be reviewed and appointed by a five-member board or one person, the supervisor.