By Tyler Murphy
NEW SCOTLAND — The town said goodbye on New Year’s Day to two long-time employees in 2012 and welcomed their replacements during last week’s reorganizational meeting, swearing in Highway Superintendent Kenneth Guyer and appointing Jeremy Cramer as head of the building department.
Guyer was appointed superintendent in May by the town board and won an uncontested election in November. Long-time highway superintendent, Darrell Duncan, had left the post after serving the town for 17 years and was appointed as head of the county’s public works department.
Even though he won the election, Guyer will serve only the remainder of Duncans’ term and will have to win election in November to serve another, full, two-year term.
The board also accepted the resignation of Building Inspector Paul Cantlin, who was in charge of the building department, and Cramer, who had been the town’s code enforcement officer was appointed to the post. Cantlin, who now works for the town’s engineering firm, Stantec, had served the municipality for nearly two decades.
Both Cramer and Guyer have already served the town for a number of years. Guyer has worked on the highway crew for almost 14 years and Cramer has been with the building department for the last two years.
Guyer, 39, is a lifelong New Scotland resident. He has been married for 16 years and has three children, ages 9, 13 and 15 who attended school in the Voorheesville school district. He is enrolled as a democrat.
He graduated from Voorheesville’s high school in 1992 and began working for the highway department in 1998 as a laborer.
Guyer worked his way through the ranks of the department, earning his commercial driver’s license and certification to operate heavy machinery. During his 14 years with the department, Guyer has worked nearly every post; laborer, truck operator, shop foreman, and deputy highway superintendent.
His current responsibilities involve supervising the largest department in the town and a total of 15 employees.
Though the town is in the process of creating a new public-works position to absorb some of the overburdened highway superintendent’s workload Guyer is currently responsible for a number of municipal services including: the highway department; transfer station; six water districts; sewer, trash recycling; town building maintenance; parks and recreation; federal emergency management relief and repairs from storm Irene and Lee; animal control and caring for all the town’s vehicles.
Town board members reviewed the job’s duties earlier this year and have held discussions how they had become too large for a single person to handle.
In its 2013 budget, New Scotland is planning on spending about $25,000 a year on creating a part-time public-works job and hiring a new employee to assume some of the highway superintendent’s responsibilities, chiefly those related to the water and sewer infrastructure.
Also a New Scotland native, Cramer currently lives in the hamlet of New Salem with his wife and two children, ages 4 and 7.
He began working for the town in 2009 when he was hired as a part-time building inspector before being appointed a full-time position soon after. In his youth, he attended school in Voorheesville but went on to graduate from high school at Christian Brother Academy in Albany.
He was a correctional officer for three years and successfully graduating from the officers’ academy but left his position in Sullivan County after the state put a hiring freeze in place, preventing him from finding a post closer to home.
Cramer worked for his father for more than 10 years building single-family homes as a general contractor. He did electrical work, excavating and carpentry. His family has operated the successful contracting business, J.J. Cramer Inc., for more than 35 years.
He has received more than 240 hours of state training to be a building inspector and is required to take 24 hours of additional training each year to keep the certification.
Cramer is one of three employees in the building department but as its top administrator, he has to review every building application submitted in the town -- from small domestic projects, such as building a storage shed to large commercial developments involving dozens of homes. He is also responsible for issuing building permits.
Though larger projects require applicants to go before the planning and zoning boards, many smaller ones, being constructed within the confines of the established codes, can be approved by Cramer.
The post also requires him to attend zoning board and planning board meetings and to create the agendas for each. The office is also in charge of record-keeping and handling public complaints related to the building laws.
Board members’ liaison appointments were:
— Thomas Dolin: highway, assessing, Building, audit and finance, village, inter-municipal relations;
— Doug LaGrange: highway, public safety, planning and zoning boards, and senior outreach;
— Daniel Mackay: water committee, New Scotland Historical Association, Clarksville Historical Society, the Onesquethaw-Coeymans Watershed Council; planning and zoning boards;
— William Hennessy: water committee, youth and recreation, parks, town properties and building department; and
— Patricia Snyder: senior outreach, schools and libraries, village.
The board also made the following appointments:
— Jeff Baker as counsel to the planning board and zoning board of appeals;
— Charles Voss as chairman of the planning board;
— Thomas Hart as alternate member of the planning board;
— Adam Greenberg as chairman of the zoning board of appeals;
— Douglas Miller as town constable;
— Kevin Demarest as town constable;
— Douglas Miller as public safety commissioner, and chairman of the public safety committee;
— Kenneth Guyer as deputy public safety commissioner;
— Lyon M. Greenberg, M.D. as chairman of the board of ethics;
— Kevin Schenmeyer as dog warden captain and James Conde as dog warden;
— Jeremy Cramer as building department head, building inspector, and deputy code enforcement officer;
— Jeffrey Pine as assistant building inspector and code enforcement officer and;
— Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. to act as the town’s engineering advisor.
The board also made the following unsalaried appointments:
— Doug LagGrange as deputy supervisor;
— Fire department chiefs of each respective fire district as fire wardens and;
— Robert Parmenter as town historian.
The town board also approved a 1-percent cost-of-living increase and annual salaries for employees. They approved the following salaries for elected officials:
— Town supervisor at $57,287.67;
— Town board members at $8,013.31;
— Town clerk $53,569.19;
— Highway superintendent $63,630.00 and;
— Town judges at $24,354.21.