Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Volunteers Needed for Town Information Desk

Town officials are looking for volunteers to help staff the Town Hall Information Desk at The Clayton Center left vacant by budget cuts.

Primary responsibilities include welcoming and directing visitors to the proper departments in both Town Hall and The Clayton Center and providing general information about the community.

"There's a need to have somebody there during the day," said Parks & Recreation Director Larry Bailey. "There's still a lot of new people coming into town who don't know much about the town or where things are. Once we get a group of volunteers, we'll try to match their schedules."

Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to call Bailey at 553-5777 for more information.

Already, members of several arts related and civid groups have come forward to volunteer. Officials hope to be able to staff the Desk with volunteers from 10 am to 2 or 3 pm each weekday.

The Desk has been empty for the last few weeks due to staff reductions forced by the scaled-down 2010-2011 town budget that cuts spending substantially but continues to hold the line on taxes. The final figure was even less than the already austere proposal suggested by Town Manager Steve Biggs. Among the final cuts was the town's long-published monthly newsletter to residents and the Information Desk staff.

"This will be a tough year," Biggs said.

Some projects are continuing as planned, including the new Law Enforcement Center, the "Downtown Plaza" project at Main and Lombard Streets and the upcoming street improvement project. But other normal spending patterns have been disrupted, including support for local non-profit agencies that depend on town money for improved services.

One department, the Parks and Recreation Department headed by Bailey, is expanding its operations this year despite cuts to its budget, mostly due to opportunities offered by the newly opened Clayton Community Center.

Staff reductions this year included 11 full-time positions and two part-time positions. In addition, three full-time employees are working reduced hours. Raises were eliminated for the second straight year. While the cuts, especially to staff, are painful, Biggs said the town must continue what he called "a demonstrated commitment to financial strength."

No comments: