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Town Board wants paid committee members to show up for work

REPORTER FILE PHOTO

REPORTER FILE PHOTO

While many town committees have volunteer members, two — the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals — pay members for their work.

It’s hard to crack down on the volunteers with excessive absences, but the Town Board may get tough on members of those two committees.

“I don’t want to make a big deal of it,” Councilman Paul Shepherd said. At the same time, he added, excessive absences can’t be ignored,

There have been excessive absences without an excuse in the past year on the Planning Board and ZBA, he said, and thinks the chairmen should be the ones to “ride herd” on their members.

Two years ago, when the Town Board was first entertaining video conferencing because of multiple absences on many of its committees during winter months, it was noted that assessors and Planning and Zoning board members rarely miss meetings, perhaps because all are paid stipends for their service.

But that hasn’t been the case through 2016 for the planners and ZBA members, Mr. Shepherd said.

Paul Mobius, chairman of the Planning Board, earns $8,480 while each member receives $4,495. ZBA Chairman Doug Matz receives $8,313 while each member receives $3,240.

The planners usually meet once a month while the ZBA generally has both a work session and regular meeting each month unless there are no applications on its docket.

Councilwoman Amber Brach-Williams said the town code limits absences to five per year, adding that both boards have at least one member who has exceeded that limit.

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