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Carolina Shores recycling employee moved to custodial job

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By Laura Lewis, Reporter

CAROLINA SHORES — The town board of commissioners has voted to move town recycle center employee Jerry Franklin to a custodial position.

The unanimous vote came following closed sessions Aug. 7 with the town’s human resources committee and town attorney Jim Eldridge.

The decision also comes months after residents rallied on behalf of Franklin, a popular employee at the recycle center, after the board discussed replacing him with a Waste Industries employee. In January, residents took issue with Franklin being reprimanded after a resident complained Franklin had failed to provide proper assistance at the recycle center.

Town commissioner Bill Brennan made a motion to follow the committee’s recommendation to transfer Franklin to the custodial position at his current rate of pay, not to exceed 20 hours per week. Town commissioner Greg Davis seconded the motion.

During discussion, it was clarified Franklin’s new duties will be at Carolina Shores Town Hall, and he will be under the supervision of town administrator Jon Mendenhall.

Goodenough said the action created a “situation” at the recycle center, with no other employee on hand to assist with town duties like swales and ditches maintenance and lawn mowing.

He said the options are to hire another employee or take Waste Industries’ recommendation to put a man at the center.

“And we are out of the garbage business somewhat,” Goodenough said.

Town commissioner Bill Brennan said he has a problem with Waste Industries’ solution, because the town needs someone to do maintenance and cleanup of the area.

“The other issue is we are talking about the policing in terms of enforcement of having stickers and making sure vehicles, people accessing that center are entitled to use (it),” Brennan said.

He said it’s his understanding the Waste Industries person “does nothing more than push a button on the compactor, and will do none of those other things and will not necessarily direct people to where they’re supposed to go.”

Goodenough said people using the facility — “all 800 of them — know where the garbage goes, where recyclables go by now.”

He said the person who was there wasn’t doing his job checking permits. The board later voted to advertise for a new town maintenance employee.

Davis said he doesn’t like bringing in someone from the outside who is just going to push a button. “It just leads to more abuse,” he said.

If the town hires a new employee, he suggested putting employees in rotation so “we’re no longer keyholed with one employee doing that job.”

Goodenough said the town needs move out of the garbage business. Town commissioner John Manning said the only way to do that is to close the recycle center.

“Right now we have it, and it has to be operated,” he said.

Until a new employee is hired, board members agreed to use the current employee to cover the compactor.

Town commissioner John Russo said he has always said the town shouldn’t be in the garbage business.

Goodenough responded it’s “valet service. We’ve got to get away from being a valet service for trash.”

Davis and Manning said that is being taken care of through Mendenhall.

“Right now we would be having that valet service with the person that is going to be temporarily at the machine,” Manning said.

On another matter, Goodenough swore in a new town planning board alternate member, Beverly Mayhew, at the board’s monthly meeting.

 

Laura Lewis is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email llewis@brunswickbeacon.com.