My name is Laura Wabno and I am running for Town/City Clerk of Derby on Nov. 7.
I previously served as Derby’s Clerk from 2005-2013. Like my predecessors Marion Malloy, Barbara Moore, and Joan Williamson, I believe the position of Town Clerk is one that should be treated with dedication and commitment.
When you are given the honor of being elected to a paying position, you are given the duty and responsibility to work the job for which you are chosen.
Many of us in Derby have had second and sometimes even third jobs to make ends meet, but those jobs should not be worked during business hours when you are elected to serve the people.
Unfortunately, our current Town Clerk, Marc Garofalo does exactly that. He has made in excess of $100k working his other jobs, when Derby City Hall is open over the past four years while collecting a $78k+/year salary from the City of Derby.
At the Board of Aldermen meeting on June 22, 2017, a statement was read into the record citing examples of the current Clerk’s misuse of authority on several occasions.
For example, on December 14, 2016, instead of attending a training class the city paid for, he decided to work his second job. An FOIA request was made seeking proof of completion or rescheduling of the class and all that was provided in response to the request was a stock handbook from the CTCA.
It is true that the Aldermen gave the Clerk the ability to come and go as he pleases, BUT this is with the stipulation that the office must be properly staffed during business hours in his absence.
Since that ruling, there has been at least one failure to comply with those conditions.
On June 5, 2017, Mr. Garofalo left the office during business hours to go work his other paying job.
Due to scheduling conflicts with the assistants in the office, the Mayor was forced to make the decision to close the Clerk’s office. Knowing the conditions set forth by the Aldermen, Mr. Garofalo then decided to use an unauthorized person just to keep the doors of the Clerk’s office open.
This would not have been so bad, but this unauthorized person proceeded to issue vital records supposedly using the Town Clerk’s signature stamp. The issue was rectified upon the Clerk realizing what had been done, but it is this type of gross negligence that is unacceptable if you are an elected official. The Secretary of State noted this incident and placed it on record, but no official action was taken.
The two current Assistant Clerks do their jobs with pride, dedication, and are very capable and available. However, they are NOT the Town/City Clerk and if they are left alone to act on his behalf, then they should be compensated for doing so.
I also believe that like some towns in Connecticut, our town clerk position should be an appointed one.
There are strict guidelines set forth by the Connecticut Town Clerks Association that do not change at the discretion of each administration.
My goal is to re-establish the integrity of the Clerk’s office, and if you elect me on Nov. 7, I will do so.
The writer is running for Derby Town Clerk on the Republican line.
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