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Merrillville considers how to fill post of town manager secretary

Updated: March 14, 2013 6:31AM



MERRILLVILLE — The retirement of a longtime town secretary could pave the way for some savings.

Councilman Tom Goralczyk, D-4th, told the council Tuesday the secretary to town administrator Howard Fink, Charlotte Simaga, is retiring in March and he’d like to fill her position with an in-house employee.

Goralczyk hoped to begin conducting interviews later this month.

But Councilman Shawn Pettit, D-6th, said he’d like the council to discuss the possibility of filling the position with a part-time employee to save money.

“It’s food for thought,” Pettit said.

The council voted to discuss the matter in executive session prior to its next workshop session on Feb. 20.

Goralczyk said after the meeting he didn’t think this could be a part-time position.

“I think Howard (Fink) has enough to do to run the town,” Goralczyk said.

Goralczyk said Fink’s secretary’s duties include answering phones, making up the agenda for council meetings, assigning numbers to ordinances and resolutions, and putting council members in touch with residents who call and want to speak with them.

Fink said his secretary now makes about $33,500 a year. Simaga has been employed by the town about 20 years in various capacities, he said.

Goralczyk said he doesn’t know how much the new secretary would earn.

Other matters

Council President Carol Miano, D-3rd, read a letter from U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville, in which he requested a commissioner with Indiana Department of Transportation to help town officials in their attempts to get Canadian National Railway to repair its tracks on Taft and Madison streets.

Miano last month sent a letter to Visclosky asking for help. She said the tracks at the two locations are in such poor condition she believes they are safety hazards.

A representative of the railroad told the Post-Tribune previously that the list of repairs to be made this construction season had not been made as yet.

Miano also read a letter from a resident praising Police Chief Joseph Petruch for solving a burglary that took place at his house.

“If not for his fine police skills, the burglary would not have been solved,” the resident wrote of Petruch.

The council took five bids for a new loader for the public works department under advisement and approved an ordinance compensating employees $42 per day for meals when traveling on town business. The bids for the loader ranged in price from $117,600 to $142,500.



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