Town employee back from leave

Barbara Milkovits, who was on medical leave from October 2013 to mid-April, has returned to her post, serving as administrative assistant for the town’s Select Board.

Milkovits returned to work April 14, after a long recovery from a motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania late last fall. Her last day of work for the town before the accident was Oct. 26.

Milkovits had attended a Select Board meeting on Jan. 14, asking to return to her job part-time, but the board denied the request. At that time, the board declined to comment on the decision, saying it was a personnel matter.

While Milkovits was on medical leave, the Select Board restructured the jobs in the town offices. The board chose to divide the duties of administrative assistant and bookkeeper, hiring Brenda Wiley as a private contractor. Wiley is responsible for keeping the town’s books, something that Milkovits used to be responsible for.

“It’s definitely different after being out for so long. I’m still administrative assistant, but I also take care of the meetings and whatever other paperwork comes through the selectman’s office,” said Milkovits in a recent interview.

The contract with Wiley began in March. The year-long deal includes paying her $250 a week through the end of May and then $200 a week for the remainder of the contract.

“[Wiley] is willing to work within our budget,” said Select Board Chair Charlie Moser on Wednesday, about the reason for the $50 decrease in pay beginning in June.

In December, the town contracted Municipal Resources Inc. — a Meredith-based company that provides managerial support services to towns — to help fill the administrative assistant role temporarily until Milkovits’ return from leave.

At a cost of $50 per hour, MRI selected Carlotta Pini, the former Rindge town administrator, to act as the town’s interim town administrator after Martha Ward, Milkovits’ assistant, resigned. Pini worked roughly 16 hours a week during her time in Mason, as her position was on an as-needed basis. Pini’s insurance and benefits were paid by MRI during her tenure in Mason.

Following the resignation of Ward, the Select Board decided to eliminate the position she held.

Milkovits is still in the process of completing physical therapy for the shoulder injury she sustained in the October accident.

“I’m happy to be back. I like the people I work with,” said Milkovits. “I’m in the process of reestablishing filing and learning the lay of the land in the town offices.”

Milkovits’ hours are the same as before her leave of absence: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

Pini said Wednesday she is now working for the city of Keene as a contract manager, a job she started March 21.

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