City Comptroller Glenn Klocko’s got a new job, but he’s not going anyplace.
The town of Westbrook recently tapped Klocko to serve as a temporary consultant to help it overcome fiscal problems that have set off alarm bells with the experts who audit the town’s books.
Klocko, a Southington resident who serves on his own town’s Board of Finance, said Tuesday he never intended to wind up with a part-time job advising Westbrook but that’s how it wound up.
He said he will do work for Westbrook on his own time – before work in Bristol, over his lunch hour, evenings and on days off from his Bristol job.
“I won’t do Westbrook work on Bristol time,” Klocko said.
It’s something the comptroller’s office is already familiar with because the city’s chief accountant, David Bertnagel, has another job serving as the comptroller of Plymouth. He often spends his lunch hour in the neighboring town’s offices.
Klocko said the consulting gig he accepted in Westbrook is “a very temporary” one and that he hopes the town will have hired its first finance director by November, freeing him from any further need to lend a hand.
Westbrook’s council has approved $43,000 to hire Klocko and two part-time employees to deal with serious financial problems outlined by its auditors. Klocko would earn $8,500 of that for his time.
Klocko said the two part-timers will be a manager and a clerk from a temporary employment agency who can together establish a billing system with internal controls and catch up on a backlog of paperwork. He said they’ll need to be in the office, but he can manage them from afar most of the time.
Klocko said he sort of stumbled into the consulting job because the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities asked him to talk to a Westbrook official about what the town needed to do.
He said he looked over the audit and other information, then went to the town to explain what it should do. He said he did so on his own time without any thought of making any money.
“I never, never went there as a consultant,” Klocko said.
But after hearing from Klocko a couple of times, town officials decided they should hire him and he agreed, Klocko said.
He said the town needs “an independent and professional” government finance expert to sort out the problems, help establish the new finance director position and train existing workers in proper procedures.
Klocko’s the second consultant hired by the town. The first, Linda Savitsky, quit after seeing the infighting that plagues the town’s leaders. Klocko said she’s a friend so he has a pretty good idea what he’s getting into.
Klocko said the part-time post more than makes up for the income he would have gained had the city not frozen salaries.
Westbrook’s Board of Finance still needs to give its blessing to the deal on Aug. 19 before it becomes final.
Contact Steve Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org