‘Sick bank’ could be in the works for ill employee

Town employees have offered to donate their own sick time to the ailing clerk of the Town Highway Department, Teresa Montant, who has been battling breast cancer for years and has championed campaigns to increase public awareness of the disease.

Ms. Montant said this week she hoped the Town Board would allow for the “sick bank” — a donation of sick time to help her and her husband Townie with the financial demands of her illness. She said she had been told that the board was reluctant to change the rules barring employees from trading or enhancing benefits because of the precedent it could set.

The subject came up briefly at Tuesday’s Town Board work session when Councilman Glenn Waddington said he wanted to discuss the issue. Supervisor Jim Dougherty said the board had intended to talk about it during its subsequent executive session. As a personnel matter, a discussion of the topic is exempt from the requirements of the Open Meetings Law. If any formal action is required of the board to implement a sick bank for Ms. Montant, it would have to take place in public however.

Mr. Waddington said on Wednesday that he believed all the board members who had met in the executive session hoped to work out a plan to accommodate the employees looking to help Ms. Montant. “A number of people have offered to apply their time to a sick bank for Teresa,” he commented. “We’re just trying to work out the details. I want to see something get done and I think it’s the unanimous sentiment of the board.”

Supervisor Dougherty commented Wednesday he was “terribly grateful for the wonderful services she has and is still giving us and we’re diligently exploring the idea” of a sick bank to help Ms. Montant.