Seymour finance job to be renewed
  Patrick Whittle, Register Staff   October 05, 2000

SEYMOUR — The town will reestablish the full-time finance director position, the Board of Selectmen voted Tuesday.

Under the town’s civil service ordinance, the job will first be offered to former Finance Director Arthur Davies, who was laid off in February soon after the town’s fiscal woes came to light. 

But First Selectman Scott Barton said if Davies opts to return as finance director, he will recommend to the selectmen that Davies be terminated. 

In January, town officials found Seymour had fallen from a $4.5 million surplus to a $186,000 deficit in fiscal year 1998-1999, and faced a potential $3.5 million shortfall in fiscal 1999. 

Davies said he is considering returning to the position when it is offered to him. But he declined to comment on Barton’s statement Wednesday. 

"We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it," Davies said. 

Davies contends that he was laid off because of the town’s lack of funds and not due to his job performance. 

Selectman David Sharkey said the town is reestablishing the position based on recommendations made in a special audit of the town’s finances conducted by Checkers International Inc. of Fairfield. He declined to comment on the possibility of Davies returning to the position, calling it a "sensitive legal issue." 

"We’re going by the Checkers report and the need for help in that department," Sharkey said. 

A letter was sent to Davies to inform him of the town’s decision to reopen the position. He now has 10 days to decide if he wants to retake the job. Assistant Finance Director Anthony Caserta is serving as acting finance director. 

The special audit of the town’s finances cites Davies as one of the key figures responsible for sinking the town into debt. The audit includes several recommendations, one of which is to hire a certified public accountant as a finance director. 

Davies runs Art Davies Real Estate in Ansonia and is not a certified public accountant. 

Selectman Paul Rosebrock said he agrees with Barton’s statement that Davies should be terminated if he accepts the position. 

"When it comes to the qualifications as specified by the Checkers report, I don’t believe that Mr. 

Davies meets those qualifications," Rosebrock said.