In September the Town of Clarkstown announced that it had retained Public Sector HR Consultants LLC of Glenville, NY to conduct a review of the human resources practices and issues of concern on application of civil service rules and regulations in the Highway Department under the management of Superintendent Wayne Ballard. Several issues of concern were brought to the Board’s attention by Peter Bradley of the Clarkstown Preservation Society among others.
According to the weekly newspaper ‘Our Town’ “the objective of the assessment is to help the Town determine if personnel practices and procedures are being applied fairly and consistently”. All employees of the Highway Department are being voluntarily interviewed with complete confidentiality.
According to Our Town, Ballard said the initial complaint that started the process had to do with one person who had been on a civil service list which had expired and complained that this was unfair. Another grievance had to do with test scores. Ballard must choose people who received the three highest scores. If two people got a 99, five people got a 95 and one person got a 90, he is within his rights to choose the person with the score of 90. Ballard said in the case of the grievance he picked a person who had been a volunteer fire chief. Ballard said he favors volunteer fire personnel because a good test taker does not mean they are well rounded human beings. Ballard said he had also picked a younger person over an older person because the older person will be retiring and the younger one will be staying around longer. “It’s not just a score”, he said.
Questions have also arisen among highway department personnel as to whether there is an ‘in’ group who were favored by Ballard for working with him and Sparaco in collecting absentee ballots for Ballard’s election. When Sparaco’s position as a part-time $75,000 Constituent Assistant was unanimously eliminated by the Town Board, Ballard immediately rehired him as a Confidential Secretary at a salary of $103,600 supposedly to take over the functions previously held by Nancy Willen who resigned abruptly. Willen was also involved in collecting absentee ballots for Ballard and along with Ballard and Sparaco were forced to testify about these activities in a Supreme Court case involving the Working Families party in September 2013.
Ballard is also involved in a lawsuit against the Town claiming that the Town had no authority to consolidate the Town’s three garages under a Fleet Manager. Additionally, he is involved in a lawsuit against a private citizen who asked for an explanation in a public meeting of Highway Department expenditures that were brought forward in a public meeting to the Town Board by the Fleet Manager as warranting examination.
More recently Ballard joined Sparaco and Former Rockland County Republican Chairman, Vinnie Reda, in an attempt to take over the Republican Party by replacing all of the Republican committee people loyal to County Executive Ed Day with those loyal to Sparaco and Reda. That attempt failed completely and Ballard is now expected not to receive the Republican Party’s nomination to continue in his present position as the Highway Department Superintendent in the 2015 election.