Langley council members were initially divided about the decision to hire a full-time front desk position at city hall.
Monica Felici, the city’s finance director and clerk, approached the council with her proposal Monday night. Langley’s current records specialist, who works the front desk part-time, has announced her resignation and will be leaving her role in mid-February.
As Felici proposed, a new full-time staff member will work the desk, complete public records requests and assist Felici, the mayor and other department heads with clerical duties. The cost of hiring the position amounts to an additional $22,100. Felici said this cost will affect the city’s general fund and public works.
Councilmember Gail Fleming, being new to the council, at first said that she did not feel qualified to vote on the issue and suggested that a finance committee could look at the “big picture” needs at city hall.
Felici responded that she will soon not have enough staff to cover the front desk.
“I can’t wait for a finance committee, if one is created, to fill this position,” she said.
Councilmember Rhonda Salerno agreed with Fleming and expressed concern that Randi Perry, the city’s public works director, might also be feeling spread a little thin and in need of some extra help. She suggested shutting down the front desk in city hall for a few hours and letting the public know about the staffing shortage.
Councilmember Craig Cyr, on the other hand, said they should trust Felici that the new position is needed for what she proposed. Councilmember Thomas Gill was also supportive.
In the end, the council voted unanimously in favor for the creation of the new position.