Fayette village council 2014.01.29

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette village council has parted ways with fiscal officer Lisa Zuver and a part-time employee was hired to serve while council decides what direction to take next.

Council voted Jan. 22 to accept Zuver's "involuntary resignation" after she was asked to resign.

Zuver was an at-will employee, explained Fayette mayor Ruth Marlatt, and village council does not have to show cause for dismissal. 

Council president David Borer said that council members’ disappointment with Zuver’s job performance led to the decision. 

“It wasn’t something that just happened,” Borer said, explaining that council members have discussed the issue in closed sessions for “quite some time” and that Zuver wasn’t making changes that council wanted to see.

Karin Sauerlender, the fiscal officer at Metamora and a government accounting teacher at the University of Toledo, was hired to work on a part-time basis for at least a month at a rate of $30 an hour. She worked part-time with the village before Zuver was hired in 2003.

Sauerlender expects to be able to spend two mornings a week in Fayette, along with some Saturday hours. Village administrator Steve Blue and tax administrator Genna Biddix will assist Sauerlender with some of the low-level accounting chores, Blue said. Former tax administrator Dee Lawrence is also helping in the office.

Council will delay approval of the 2014 budget until Sauerlender spends some time with the spending plan. Final approval must be made before March 1. Marlatt urged council members to obtain a copy of the village's proposed expense accounts and compare them to those from 2013.

The village books are due for an audit this year and Marlatt is hoping that can be delayed until Sauerlender has the opportunity to review finances and make sure things are in order.

"Whether or not there's anything wrong [with the books]," Blue said, "we're transitioning and we want a thorough review."

Marlatt also spoke of an encompassing review of village finances.

"We're going to move in a different direction," she said, "and we want to check to make sure all accounts are set up properly for the audit and that the job was done correctly. Whenever anyone leaves, you want to make sure that everything is set up right." 

Marlatt said she doesn't know if village finances are any worse off than anticipated, but it's always a concern.

SEWER PROJECT—The final walk-through of the village with Gleason Construction will be delayed until the snow melts, Blue told council. Gleason will not complete all the final items until after the contract completion date expires, but Blue is seeking advice on how long of an extension to seek.

METERS—Water meter accounting software is now installed on a village computer and will be put to use following training. Council voted to pay Neptune Equipment meter company $43,921 for new meters. A grant coordinated by the county will be used to reimburse the village. A few of the new meters have been installed over the winter to replace frozen units.

CLOSED—Council met in a closed session for 36 minutes to discuss personnel issues.