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Day takes heat on payroll issue

“The buck stops with you…the public won’t stand for it and I don’t believe your council will either.”

With that, Sunnyside Mayor Jim Restucci took City Manager Don Day to task last night for the move to cancel a contract with Paychex.

The firm was hired last year to simplify and handle the city’s payroll system, a complex program that over the years has resulted in $80,000 in fines to the federal government.

Monday night, Day asked council to cancel the contract due to what he described as Paychex’s inability to provide payroll services for Sunnyside.

That incensed Councilman Jason Raines, who claimed city staff for months have said the Paychex system was in the process of being installed.

“Whatever problems were being experienced were not being communicated to council,” Raines said.

In response, Day said from his hire one year ago he had doubts about Paychex. “I started seeing problems with it from the get go,” he said.

Councilman Spencer Martin defended Day.

“I remember Mr. Day saying there were a few problems…not sunshine and roses,” said Martin.

He added there was a larger issue at play.

“We (council members) do not run day to day operations,” Martin said. “Mr. Day is doing the best job he can do.”

Day, however, took the blame for the failure with Paychex. He said his biggest regret was not pulling the plug with the vendor back in March when it was unable to load payroll for the fire and police departments.

Raines called on Day to fix the payroll system.

“If you’re telling us this (Paychex) is not the solution, what is going to fix the problem?” Raines asked.

Deputy Mayor Theresa Hancock, for one, believes Day will come up with a solution.

“From day one I think council got ahead of the city manager on this one (hiring a payroll firm),” she said. “I trust him when he (Day) says he’ll do better. This isn’t all of his making.”

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