Rhinebeck recreation director resigns again
RHINEBECK – For the second time this year, the town recreation director Kari Wolfe has resigned.
Her resignation is the latest twist in the confusing and somewhat controversial debate over the direction of the town recreation program and the position of recreation director.
Her resignation, and the announcement by the Town Supervisor Tom Traudt that the board is accepting applications for the post, triggered criticism from Councilman Dod Crane and several members of the public over the handling of the position.
Wolfe first resigned several weeks ago when a majority of the newly elected Town Board voted to cut her salary to $14,000 from the $28,000 included in the 2008 budget adopted by the former town administration.
Board members reduced the salary when they discovered that the full-time work schedule triggered Civil Service rules requiring the position be filled from a Civil Service list of applicants.
Wolfe, who took the Civil Service exam in anticipation of the conversion, rescinded her resignation and accepted the reduced salary and fewer hours on a temporary basis, until the board had an opportunity to meet and discuss whether they wanted to convert the post into a Civil Service position.
She resigned again when she discovered as a result of the release of the Town Board agenda that the board is accepting applications for the position.
Crane said he found it “troubling” that Wolfe was not informed of the board’s intention to advertise for the position, and that the board was advertising for a position before it had defined what that position will entail.
“The job is totally undefined, yet it’s being advertised,” said Crane.
Village Trustee Svend Beecher said he also found it “curious” that Wolfe learned of the board’s intention to seek applicants for the post from the agenda.
“I’m a little surprised at the political handling,” said Beecher.
Supervisor Thomas Traudt said the handling of the situation “was a matter of interpretation,” since the board intended to develop a job description.
Board members and members of the public discussed at a workshop following the meeting the future of the town’s recreation program and how to best develop a job description for the position.
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