Greenport utilities head still out on leave; return uncertain

09/18/2013 2:00 PM |
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Greenport utilities director Jack Naylor is still on a leave of absence he took three weeks ago. Deputy Mayor George Hubbard suggested he likely won't return.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Greenport utilities director Jack Naylor is still on a leave of absence he took three weeks ago. Deputy Mayor George Hubbard suggested he likely won’t return.

Three weeks after taking a leave of absence from his position as Greenport Village utilities director, Jack Naylor was noticeably absent from Monday’s village work session, and it appears he won’t be returning anytime soon.

Mayor David Nyce stepped in when it came time to read the utilities director’s report, making no reference to Mr. Naylor’s absence.

After the meeting, Trustee George Hubbard said that labor contract negotiations are ongoing and did not give a length of time for which Mr. Naylor will remain off the job.

“We are in the process of coming to a settlement to move forward with the position,” he said.

When questioned if Mr. Naylor would likely be terminated he said: “I believe that is the direction we’re heading in.”

Mr. Nyce said conditions of the leave, including the length of absence, were not immediately disclosed because it’s the result of ongoing labor contract negotiations. Mr. Naylor declined to comment on the situation in late August, just after the leave started, noting, “At this point in time I think things are better left unsaid.”

The board has frequently expressed dissatisfaction with Mr. Naylor’s performance in recent years.

In April 2012, Trustee Mary Bess Phillips proposed cutting Mr. Naylor’s one-year term in half because she had been unhappy with his oversight of the wastewater treatment and light plants. Members approved the shortened 180-day term by a 3-1 vote, with Mr. Nyce casting the lone dissenting vote after failing to sway his fellow trustees to vote on a one-year reappointment.

The dispute appeared to be resolved in October when the mayor confirmed that Mr. Naylor would stay on as utilities director.

Since Mr. Naylor holds a civil service job, he is protected until the next reorganizational meeting in April, the Mayor previously said during the first round of term adjustments. If the board decided to fire Mr. Naylor, who was first appointed in 2007, legal action by the village’s labor council would be required, the mayor said.

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