Time cards obtained by the Waterbury Record show the Duxbury Select Board’s assistant, Jonathon DeLaBruere, may be getting paid for more work than he’s actually doing.
The assistant’s job has been a point of contention since it was discovered DeLaBruere was working 40 hours a week in what was budgeted as a 20-hour-a-week part-time job, and in some cases breaking into overtime.
The job — paying about $20.50 an hour — was budgeted at $22,000 a year; as of Jan. 27, his pay was $2,117 over budget with more than five months left in the fiscal year.
DeLaBruere’s schedule has become an issue as the town government wrestles with a $156,611 deficit from last year and a budget that’s already in the red this year.
DeLaBruere has been instructed by the select board to work no more than 20 hours a week, but the entries on those time cards may not translate into actual hours of work.
At a meeting Jan. 27, Mari Pratt, select board vice chair, directed DeLaBruere not to speak to press.
“We don’t want to pay you to talk to them,” Pratt said.
That was in reference to an entry on DeLaBruere’s time card for Dec. 10, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., “Received call from Mike from the Waterbury Record asking questions about the grant projects.” The time card shows the call occupied an hour of DeLaBruere’s time, but the call actually lasted 13 minutes and 16 seconds, from 4:33 to 4:46 p.m.
An entry for Nov. 14 between 3:30 and 5 p.m. says, “Read the Waterbury Record article that Jerry sent to the board, and forwarded the Valley Reporter article to the board for review.” Time: 1.5 hours.
Another, dated Dec. 17, noon to 12:30 p.m., “Responded to an email from Waterbury Record.” The email the Waterbury Record received was a single sentence and a forwarded email originally sent to him by Waterbury Municipal Manager Bill Shepeluk.
And another entry for Jan. 3, for 10 to 11 a.m., says “Discussion with Mike from Waterbury Record regarding deficit.”
This was an unscheduled meeting. The reporter entered the office looking for budget and audit documents, happened to see DeLaBruere and asked which grants were issued for what storm events. The entire encounter lasted no longer than 15 minutes.
On Nov. 23, Pratt asked DeLaBruere to add descriptions to each entry. Before that, DeLaBruere would record the date, time worked and the total hours worked in the period, sometimes adding an asterisk including specific work, such as “Nov. 1 storm,” or “DR 4330.”
Pratt and Jerry McMahan, a select board member, are responsible for reviewing and signing the assistant’s time cards. Pratt said she directed DeLaBruere to add descriptions to his entries because that was “bringing him up to speed with the road crew, because the road crew already breaks theirs down, I think by the half-hour. Theirs are not as fancy.”
Pratt said she reviews the cards before she signs them and thought they accurately portrayed how DeLaBruere spent his time. Asked about the examples cited above, Pratt declined to comment, saying, “At this point, I am not going to discuss that.”
McMahan also declined to talk about the entries, and said he reviews the cards in detail only if Pratt brings something to his attention or requires his feedback.