Lenox: Highwayman wants overtime pay

Lenox highway employee Keith Webb approached the board Monday night and asked for overtime pay instead of what he called "comp" pay or flex pay.

Supervisor Rocco DiVeronica told Webb highway employees had voted to receive time off instead of overtime.

"It's what you guys wanted," DiVeronica said.

"Do we have the option? My boss said we were never going to get paid overtime as long as he sat in that seat," Webb said pointing to highway Superintendent Salvadore "Tony" Cesario, a statement Cesario denied telling Webb.

"Is it legal?" Webb asked.

"Yes," DiVeronica said. "The law states you can take [flex] time if it's voted on. I'm not the boss. He's the boss and an elected official. DiVeronica was referring to Cesario.

"This is the first time I've heard he wants overtime," Cesario said.

DiVeronica asked Webb if he had approached Cesario about this.

"He yells at you and treats you like a little kid," Webb said.

Webb said he was so angry he nearly walked off the job Christmas day.

Cesario told Webb that he would have to take into consideration that highway employees who receive overtime pay would have to contribute to health insurance premiums. Currently the town pays all or part of insurance premiums for its employees.

Cesario became frustrated and told the board he didn't have a problem paying overtime.

"We will get a time clock, cut salaries and pay overtime," Cesario said.

"I'm not getting into it," DiVeronica said. "But we have no money for overtime in the budget right now."

Cesario said he would set up a meeting with his department to find out who wanted overtime pay.

Dissatisfied crew

After meeting with the five highway employees, Cesario said three of the five feel they deserve more money.

"For the last five or more years they never got a good raise," Cesario said. "This year the raise was a little less than 3 percent. The average raise was 7 percent, statewide."

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