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Roger Hosey to be Landis town manager

LANDIS — The Landis Board of Aldermen appointed Roger Hosey, the interim finance officer, as the new town manager Monday night.

After an executive session, the aldermen unanimously decided to appoint Hosey as the town manager effective today.

Alderman Seth Moore did not attend Monday’s meeting.

Hosey was appointed interim finance officer in February after the State Bureau of Investigation announced it was looking into embezzlement allegations related to former Town Manager Reed Linn and former Finance Officer Ginger Gibson.

“I worked with him for six months,” Mayor Mike Mahaley said. “I know where we were at when we started, and I know where we’re at now and it’s just beginning. He needs everybody’s support.”

The board commended Hosey for facilitating the investigation by coordinating with the SBI and the forensic auditor.

Mahaley added that interim Town Manager Kenny Isenhour has been right by Hosey’s side.

He said the state Local Government Commission, a division of the State Treasurer’s Office that tracks municipalities’ financial standing, has been pushing for the hiring of a permanent town manager.

“I could not, in good conscious, recommend that the board consider having a brand new town manager, a brand new financial officer, two brand new board members and a brand new mayor at this critical stage,” Mahaley said. “Due to its depth and scope, this investigation is taking longer than we had originally anticipated, and the Local Government Commission has requested that we move to appoint a permanent town manager and financial officer as soon as practicable.”

Hosey will be paid $87,000 a year, which will include his duties as town manager, deputy police chief and information-technology network manager.

In other business:

• Mayor Pro Tem Tommy Garver offered the town an apology for failing to follow up on questions he had about town finances.

Garver said he had trust in Linn and Gibson. He said he went to them after noticing things he thought were wrong in the budget but did not adequately follow up. He said they explained the over-budgeted salaries were because of employee overtime. He said he asked for tax and payroll information about town employees but never received it.

He said he assumed former boards were in order but they were fooled like the current board was fooled.

Garver said, however, that he would not apologize for the current Board of Aldermen for catching and stopping the embezzlement. He also said he would not apologize for the decision to set the car registration fee at $30 to finance repaving of town roads.

Meredith Smith thanked Garver for apologizing and said she has asked the board for an apology to Landis residents since March — when the SBI began its investigation. She said she had also asked for W-2 forms for town employees and did not receive them.

• Hosey asked Phil Bader, a division manager with Waste Pro, to address changes in the recycling program. He said Waste Pro’s can will be either gray, green or blue, and that defective trash bins will be replaced. Bader apologized that several residents ended up with no trash bin when Waste Pro came to pick up recycling bins.

Bader said Landis has a high amount of contaminants in its recycling that has been costing Waste Pro and the town a lot of money.

“The state of the material was pretty rough,” Bader said.

He said other municipalities have moved away from recycling as it has increasingly become a challenge because of contaminants and the amount of recyclables reduced.

Jennifer Herring, director of government relationships with Waste Pro, said contamination of recycling is because of trash and food residue.

“When you have contamination, it is a costly thing for the town,” Herring said.

Hosey has previously said the town had the illusion of recycling but has not provided the service, despite providing separate recycling bins.

Herring said former town employees made the decision to forgo recycling.

• The aldermen unanimously approved a resolution to accept a state grant for the S. Upright Basin Sewer System. The resolution says the town will arrange for financing for all remaining costs of the project.

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