Woodford appoints new treasurer


DEREK CARSON, Staff Writer

WOODFORD -- The Woodford Select Board on Monday appointed Gail Rutkowski as treasurer after the recent surprise resignation of Jim Horrigan left the position vacant.

Rutkowski has lived in Woodford for 15 years, and is an employee at TrustCo Bank, according to the official minutes, which were released and posted on Tuesday. She was introduced to the meeting by Charlene Foster, who has served on Woodford’s Board of Civil Authority.

The minutes indicate that, while Rutkowski will be treasurer, she and Foster will work together. Rutkowski agreed to be appointed treasurer after board chairman Ryan Thurber asked which of the two would like to be appointed.

Foster indicated that she and Rutkowski would be utilizing New England Municipal Resource Center’s fund accounting software, at least for the first year. Thurber brought up the possibility of utilizing NEMRC to assist them in learning the position, although he noted that would cost $7,200, and would come out of the treasurer’s $11,400 budget.

Foster said that her biggest concern was, "How do we learn?" and said that town clerk Ron Higgins had told her that he would not assist them in learning the software. She felt that having NEMRC come on board to help them for one year was the best option. Thurber reiterated that there was $11,400 and another $3,000 available for an independent clerk that would be available to fund the treasurer, saying that he wanted to be very open about the dollar amount available.

The treasurer in Woodford has the flexibility to set his or her own hours, and also serves as Woodford Hollow School District treasurer. Thurber acknowledged that he didn’t have very much information on that position, and advised Rutkowski and Foster to speak with Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union CFO Rick Pembroke, who would be able to assist them. Pembroke had indicated at the last Woodford school board meeting that he would be happy to get whoever was appointed up to speed.

Selectman Mike Charette asked school board member Avis Bruce-Hurley what the salary for the school treasurer was. While Bruce-Hurley was not sure, she said it was a good deal less than the town salary. Charette estimated that it was about $3,000.

Once Rutkowski had been decided upon as the appointee, the board voted unanimously to accept her appointment. The board also voted to approve the contract with NEMRC as worded, should the treasurer decide to utilize the service, so as to avoid any future roadblocks.

The board also voted to formally accept Horrigan’s letter of resignation. He had presented the letter in February, but had agreed to stay on until after town meeting day. Horrigan’s last day had technically been March 6, but he had said at last week’s school board meeting that he would be staying on for a few extra days to finish up some reports. Thurber suggested Rutkowski and Foster speak with Horrigan to find out which banks need their attention, as well as some of the other details of the position.

The board also re-organized after the town meeting vote. Thurber was re-elected as chairman by the three-person board. Charette will serve as vice-chairman, and Wright will serve as road commissioner. All positions were approved unanimously.

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at dcarson@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @DerekCarsonBB


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