Weekly Feature

2008-02-06 / Local News

One man, two hats

Ketchum named interim engineer
by JESSICA L. FINCH Associate Editor

The majority of Amherst Town Board members supported Supervisor Satish Mohan's motion to name an interim town engineer, but there was concern about stretching the appointee too thin.

Building Commissioner Tom Ketchum was appointed to continue his current duties and also take on those of town engineer until a new engineer is named.

Former Town Engineer Jeff Burroughs resigned last week after two years in the position.

Council Member Dan Ward was concerned about the appointment.

"His current job is very time consuming, and so is the town engineer position," he said. "Why can't the number two or three person be named?"

Mohan responded, saying that he had a long discussion with Ketchum about the appointment and decided to go forward with it.

Because Ketchum is a full-time employee he can't be appointed interim engineer so the wording in the resolution was changed to read that he will be assigned the engineer's duties.

Ketchum is a former assistant engineer, last working in the department in 1983.

When pushed about the ability to take on the appointment, Ketchum acknowledged the high demand of the workload.

"I am concerned about being able to handle both jobs adequately," he said.

Prior to the meeting Ketchum said he had been working with Burroughs on the transition. He added that he will rely on the employees and assistants in both departments to make sure both continue to operate.

The board approved the appointment with the clause that Ketchum's tenure as engineer will not exceed April 21.

"The whole thing is a cockamamie approach, I see problems here," Ward said.

The board also discussed the merger of sewer services, first announced the end of 2007 by former county executive, Joel Giambra and Mohan.

Ward proposed a resolution requesting additional information on the sanitary sewer district consolidation between the Town of Amherst, Village of Williamsville and the Town of Clarence.

Mostly he wanted to know how the residents will see a savings.

The resolution failed, but Mohan said a meeting was scheduled for an upcoming work session at 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11 at Town Hall, 5583 Main St., Williamsville, to discuss the merger. A task force was formed in December to fine-tune the merger and has met once.

For information on town meetings, visit www.amherst.ny.us.

Return to top