New London mayor reinstates office administrator position

New London — The mayor’s office administrator, whose position was cut in September in an effort to trim the 2012-13 budget, did not lose her job after all.

Tammy Daugherty’s last day was supposed to be Oct. 26. But Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio said Friday that money was found in the Finance Department’s budget to fund her $52,000-a-year position through the fiscal year, which ends June 30. Her remaining salary is about $34,000.

“We quickly realized she’s pretty integral to the up and running of this office,’’ Finizio said, adding that Daugherty also played a big role in organizing emergency response during Hurricane Sandy. Daugherty also has been working on a project to create a storm water authority, and Finizio said her role in that is essential.

He added that several city councilors, who he would not name, came to him privately and asked that her position be reinstated if funds were available.

Council President Michael Passero said Friday the mayor would have to come to the council to request a transfer of funds from the Finance Department to the mayor’s office. He accused the mayor of making a hasty decision without thinking it through.

“He shot from the hip again,’’ Passero said. “He announced the layoff the day after the referendum, and now it affects her life. He has to learn not to shoot from the hip.”

Passero said the City Council eliminated the position from the budget, at the mayor’s request, and now he has to ask the council to reinstate it.

“I don’t doubt she’s doing a good job,’’ Passero said. “But, he has to ask to have the money transferred back.”

Councilor Adam Sprecace said he had no problem keeping the position but also believed the mayor would have to request a transfer of funds.

“He can’t simply take money from the finance office and put in the mayor’s office,’’ Sprecace said Friday.

Neither Sprecace nor Passero said they asked Finizio to keep the position.

Finizio said the money to fund Daugherty’s position would come from a consulting line item in the Finance Department’s budget.

Daugherty was hired by Finizio in December after he was elected mayor. She had already taken a 5 percent pay cut before she was given a 30-day layoff notice following a September budget referendum. Residents defeated the $42.3 million budget, and the City Council cut about $1 million, which included Daugherty’s position.

k.edgecomb@theday.com

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