DERBY - Derby Town Clerk and Treasurer Nicole Daigle said Tuesday she is going to turn in her letter of resignation at the next select board meeting.
Daigle has accepted and is starting a new job and wants to focus her efforts on it.
Monday, at the Derby Select Board’s regular meeting, assistant town clerk and delinquent tax collector Mary Ann Tetreault expressed concerns over Daigle’s actions and said she feels she is not being “treated equally.” Tetreault beat out Daigle for the delinquent tax collector position last March at Town Meeting by a couple of votes. Tetreault said she won the race fair and square. Since then, Tetreault has seen her work hours at the town offices cut from 40 to 16, her key to the town offices was taken away from her, and she is prevented access from some town computer information that she needs for her job.
“She is just showing me who is boss,” Tetreault, in a letter, said of Daigle.
Tetreault's eye filled with tears as she sat before the Derby Select Board.
Many people in the audience questioned Daigle's motives and actions.
After Daigle accepted her new job, she decided to bring in Faye Morin and teach her the job of town clerk so that, come election time in March, there is a viable candidate, Daigle said. Daigle wanted to keep working as town clerk when she was not working at her other job “to help the town transition smoothly.”
Daigle offered to pay Morin a salary from the existing operating budget, indicating the money would come out of Daigle's salary.
But now, with the added heat, Daigle is going to step down.
The select board has some options to fill the vacancy. It could appoint an interim town clerk and treasurer until next election or hold a special election.
Daigle said she cut Tetreault hours because of the economy. Tetreault’s primary role is recording legal documents for filing in the town office. Tetreault's other role is customer service. The position at first was part time, but with the economic boom in housing several years ago, the position went full time, Daigle said.
During that boom, Tetreault was recording about 8,000 pages a year, Daigle said. Last year Tetreault recorded less than 3,000. And the clerk’s office is seeing far less public traffic coming in for DMV transactions and other business. “The work is just not there anymore,” Daigle said in an interview Tuesday.
“I wanted the transition to go smoothly, but now with this, I’m going to resign and focus on my new job.” Daigle said she didn’t realize these problems would come about. “I didn’t do this to spite anyone.”
She said that even though Tetreault is paid for 16 hours, she records about seven hours a week. Tetreault no longer has a key because she doesn’t need one, Daigle said. Tetreault doesn’t open or close the office.
Daigle recently attended a conference and now prebate information is confidential. Daigle was advised that only certain people could access some information within the office. Daigle says Tetreault has access to what she needs to conduct her job duties, but some access was taken way.
Some in the audience Monday asked why a new person was is coming in when Tetreault already works in the office and wants more hours. Daigle said she was considering increasing Tetreault hours again, but her new job came about quickly and it’s been a whirlwind adjustment.