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Williamsport town clerk/treasurer let go

August 11, 2005|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

WILLIAMSPORT

andrews@herald-mail.com

Bonnie J. Errico was dismissed Wednesday from her job as Williamsport's clerk/treasurer.

The town council unanimously voted in favor of the motion during a meeting called solely for that reason.

Reading from a short written statement, Councilman Nelson F. Deal made a motion to "terminate" Errico "for just cause," effective immediately.

Deal and other council members wouldn't comment afterward.

At Monday's monthly meeting, Councilman Jeff Cline spoke strongly and critically that the council, for the second straight month, didn't have minutes more recent than April's to review.

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Errico defended herself in an interview Tuesday. She said she was behind with minutes because she was asked to focus on the town's financial problems. She also said she has asked for help.

In recent months, Cline has criticized Town Hall for the town's financial woes, blaming poor management and record-keeping. He did not name Errico, who also worked under John W. Slayman, the mayor for 20 years until March.

Also Monday, Cline and Councilman Earle R. Pereschuk Sr. voted against "paying the bills," a typically routine acknowledgment of the town's expenses and assets. Errico would present the report each month.

Errico said Tuesday that she wasn't invited to attend Wednesday's special meeting and didn't know about it until The Herald-Mail told her.

Instead, she went to a meeting of the Washington County Commission for Women. She didn't return two calls for comment left at her home Wednesday.

Errico took over as Williamsport's clerk/treasurer in August 2002. Her predecessor, Steven Smith, was let go in July 2002 after about a month on the job.

Smith followed Donna K. Spickler, who resigned in June 2002, after 21 years, to become Hagerstown's city clerk.

After Wednesday's meeting, Mayor James G. McCleaf II said two other Town Hall employees, Jamie Hill and Judie Lowman, will share the clerk/treasurer duties for now. He also wouldn't comment on Errico's dismissal.

McCleaf said he doesn't have a target date for hiring a new clerk/treasurer.

Lowman took notes at Monday's regular council meeting and Wednesday's special meeting. McCleaf said he asked her to take over preparing the minutes.

Town Attorney Edward Kuczynski said the town council voted on Errico's job in public Wednesday because the town's charter requires at least five council members to vote on the matter, which couldn't be done in executive session.

Deal's motion Wednesday said the firing was based in part on "all discussions held in Executive and Personnel Sessions" and regular meetings, as well as "the performance of Ms. Errico in her capacity of Clerk/Treasurer."

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