Riverside Cemetery Hires Garon as SextonIssue Date: January 18, 2017
John Garon was hired by the Riverside Cemetery Association of Peshtigo as its new Sexton/Head Grounds Keeper. Garon, who has been the cemetery's Assistant Groundkeeper, replaces Joel Guay. Guay passed away in October of 2016.
The decision to hire Garon stemmed from a recommendation of the Cemetery's Personnel Committee. In December, the Committee met with Garon to examine the overall duties of cemetery staff and looked at a number of ways to effectively operate under the current circumstances.
An option considered was to separate the duties of Sexton, who would only have been responsible for selling plots, keeping computerized and paper records, and interacting with funeral homes, private buyers, and family members. While the committee felt this kind of arrangement may work well in the future, they felt it appropriate at this time to stay with a Sexton who is also the lead groundskeeper because of the overwhelming training requirements required to have a separate Sexton.
The Board of Trustees agreed with the recommendation and offered the job to Garon at $16.75 per hour to start. This would continue to be a seasonal job, from April to Mid-November. In addition, Garon would receive four paid days off during his regular summer schedule, contingent upon scheduled burials. The offer also included paid time and a half for Sundays and Holidays if he is called in for them, as well as for burials during his lay-off period.
In related action, the Trustees also approved posting for an Assistant Groundskeeper position. This position would begin with an $11 per hour salary, with a potential increase after a 90 day probation period.
At the Annual Meeting portion of the evening, members of the Riverside Cemetery Association elected Pat Tobin (to replace Guay), Amber Lynwood, and David Zahn to three year terms on the Board of Trustees. This is Lynwood's second term and Zahn's third full term.
In other matters, the Trustees approved a Waiver of Liability Form for Volunteers. This is a simple document for volunteers to fill out prior to them performing any work out at the cemetery stating that the cemetery and the Association is not liable for any injury received while performing volunteer work in the cemetery. The forms will be available from the Sexton at the Cemetery and will be kept on file.
The Trustees took no action on proposed changes to Association By-Laws. Vice-Chairman Zahn explained that the document was presented to the Trustees in December. The Trustees will review the document at their March meeting, and will then schedule a Special Meeting of the Association to explain the changes. The proposed new by-laws will be available for the public to examine in February. The public is asked to watch the cemetery's website for the document, or where hard copies will be available.
Stan Nogalski was re-elected as President of the Association, Zahn as Vice-Chairman, Sally Witak as Secretary, and Nancy (Dechert) Holzberger as Treasurer. Nogalski commented that he will present Committee and Sub-Committee assignments in March.
At the close of 2016, the Cemetery funds included Perpetual Care investment funds totaling $206,101.01, Perpetual Care saving funds in the amount of $8,522.76, $31,292.04 in the operating checkbook, and $3,610.20 in a separate Donation Fund which is earmarked for repaving the roadways in the cemetery. There were 43 burials at the Cemetery in 2016.
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