At Wednesday’s meeting, council members agreed to wait on overriding Mayor Thane’s objection to cutting the salary of the assistant to the Corporation Counsel. The line was separated from the list of the Mayor’s nine objections, which are the equivalent of line item vetoes. The remaining overrides were approved unanimously.
During the Finance Committee portion of the meeting, council members Ed Russo, Valerie Beekman and Richard Leggerio indicated they wanted item to be separated from the list. Russo cited difficulty in finding an existing employee to take on the responsibilities of the counsel’s assistant, some of which required work on confidential matters.
“We still haven’t come up with a plan,” said Russo
Controller Matt Agresta said, “Using somebody from my department or from any other department part-time, in-between, was where the confidentiality issue was.”
Both Russo and Beekman expressed a desire to see the assistant’s office moved to city hall. Leggerio also said that with previous Corporation Counsels, having their assistant at City Hall did not cause any problems with confidentiality.
Council members also unanimously approved a long-debated “hiring freeze” resolution. Alderman Ron Barone clarified that the intent of the freeze was to require city department heads to get permission from the common council before replacing an employee leaving their position.