Cortlandt Lifts Hiring Freeze, Eyes New Hiring Policy

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Cortlandt officials are lifting a four-year hiring freeze, and could implement a new hiring policy to coincide. Pictured above, from left, Town Board member John Sloan, Supervisor Linda Puglisi and Town Attorney Tom Wood. Photo Credit: Jessica Glenza

CORTLANDT, N.Y. – Cortlandt officials are considering lifting a four-year hiring freeze and considering a new hiring policy to coincide.

In a recent work session, Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi suggested a hiring policy that would favor Cortlandt residents who are not related to current town employees over those who are.

Puglisi said the town needs to hire two full-time laborers in the Water Department and a third for the Highway Department.

"We also need a town policy to have these people not be related to current town employees," Puglisi said. "Not that they'd be excluded. Others would be considered first."

The policy would affect only full-time hires, and not seasonal employees such as laborers or lifeguards.

The suggestion was referred to Town Attorney Tom Wood. It is unclear whether it would be legal to have a policy that discourages hiring family members of current town employees, even when there's no correlation between the jobs. It's also unclear which familial relations would carry weight in the hiring process; for example, if only spouses and children would be less favored, or if the policy would extend to brothers, sisters and cousins.

"There are people lined up out the door talking to Claudia [Vahey, director of human resources] every day," Puglisi said. She said the policy would be "for perception reasons, first."

Currently, the town has a policy that bars immediate family members – spouses, children and siblings – from directly supervising one another.

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