BOS - May 27, 2003 Workshop

BOS - May 27, 2003 Workshop

Postby Suzanne Kane » Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:17 am

Douglas Board of Selectmen
Workshop Meeting Minutes
May 27, 2003
Approved August 5, 2003

1. Call to Order:

Madame Chairman Shirley M. Mosczynski called the meeting to order at 7:03 pm.
In attendance: Edward Therrien, Ronald Forget, Richard Preston, Paula Brouillette, Executive Administrator Ken Mahony, and Administrative Secretary Jane Brule.

Also in attendance: Town Accountant Rich Mathieu, Personnel Board Co-Chairs Leslie Navaroli and Hillary MacInnis, Personnel Board members Mary Eldridge and Ron Gadbois, Town Clerk Chris Furno, Collector of Taxes Pam Carter, Town Treasurer Sharon Brotherton, Finance Committee Chair Pam Holmes, and Tribune Reporter Tom Mattson.

Elected Officials Salaries-Discussion:
Shirley M. Mosczynski asked Leslie Navaroli to explain to the Board of Selectmen the concerns of the Personnel Board regarding Salaries of the Elected Officials: Town Clerk-Chris Furno, Collector of Taxes-Pam Carter, and Treasurer Sharon Brotherton. Leslie passed out documentation provided by Ken Mahony through the Town Accountant Rich Mathieu. Leslie stated that the Personnel Board was never consulted #1-before going to Town Floor in 2002 regarding the three Elected Officials on the Compensation Schedule with the percent of increases and #2-The Board of Selectmen are in violation regarding the negotiation of the three Elected Officials. It’s the numbers that are being looked at, not performance. Shirley said she was disappointed that the Personnel Board was not aware of the agreement. Leslie said she was disappointed with the BOS Office not the Selectmen.

The Town Clerk and Tax Collector for FY02 the Step was M1-1 and moved up to M1-7 in FY03. In FY04 the Step changes to M2-4 and with a 5% COLA this is a 21.9% increase.

The Treasurer for FY02 the Step was M1-9 and moved up to M2-2 in FY03. In FY04 the Step changes to M2-6 with a 5% COLA and Certification this is a 17.4% increase. These multiple Step increases were done without knowledge or approval of the Personnel Board. This is in violation of the Personnel Bylaws and authority under MGL c.41 108A.
The two memos from the Personnel Board to the BOS both dated April 3, 2001 were brought to attention by Pam Holmes indicating conflicting Step numbers and salaries recommended by the Personnel Board for the Treasurer.

Leslie stated that the Personnel Board is not involved in rating of Elected Officials; however recommendations were brought to the BOS that they be in a competitive rate with everyone else. The Personnel Board tried to implement the MMA Study in the Schedule. The MMA Study that was done was based on 30 hours. Sharon thought this to be unfair for Elected Officials to fall into this category, and asked that their Compensation Schedule be separate from appointed employees. Ken commented that he noticed employees’ cars in the Municipal parking lot beyond the 30 hours. It was stated that the Library Director Ann Carlsson is paid for forty hours but only works 30 hours. Leslie did not question the hours worked. The Personnel Board never got a chance to rate the Elected Officials because they are contractual and not under the Board. The Personnel Board has been working hard with these studies and Leslie wants to know how to reinforce their decisions.
Rich Mathieu said the three positions were added to the pay & grade schedule last year and were not on it before.

Ron Forget wanted to know where the figure came from to start the Elected Officials Salaries. After discussion Ken said he had sat down with the three Elected Officials last year with permission of the BOS and they agreed to try this plan along with personal evaluations by Ken. It was not written as a contract as that would be unlawful.
Sharon commented that the survey started with previous Town Administrator Norm MacNeil and the three Elected Officials agreed to participate. Results of MMA study regarding salary were much higher than anticipated.
In February, 1996, previous Town Administrator Michael J. Balch contacted Kopelman and Paige (our counsel) requesting opinion on the authority of the Personnel Board. A copy of this is attached.
Shirley is concerned with the three year agreement especially the increase the third year.
Concerns regarding the COLA increases and the Personnel Board vs BOS.
Pam Carter stated that her position as Tax Collector was underpaid in comparison with other towns and she had waited four years for an increase, but did not want to hurt the budget.
Chris Furno mentioned that salaries for (Herself) Town Clerk and Tax Collector were on the low end of the scale.
Sharon said the Merit Rating is an earned Step increase and the COLA increase is across the board.
Ken said the salary schedule should be used as a tool or guide to go by for the Elected Officials. Rich agreed that you are never tied to that scale. BOS agreed with Ken’s recommendation to try Personal Evaluation guide to justify the increase in Steps of the three Elected Officials. Leslie questioned why the same rating guide for the Chief of Police can’t be used for the Elected Officials?
Ron-Personnel Board to work on Elected Officials rating, they were given a larger increase to make it equal over the three year time frame.
Paula thanked the Personnel Board for their hard work, input, organization and that their work is important. This year old problem is an error that needed to be addressed sooner. Need help from the Personnel Board with issues. She asked who owned the Excel spread sheet and Leslie answered the BOS. Paula said we should start with raw data, make corrections and safeguards are needed. She questioned it as an irresponsibility giving a 7.5% increase and should be dealt with immediately. Regarding FY05, there could be lay offs, because of budget constraints. Pam Holmes mentioned also health care adjustments. Sharon commented that the 5% increase is in the early budget stages. An effort is expected to ask union workers to back off and take a decrease. Also look at union contracts-all people have to give.


Getting to the point-Personnel Board wants to have the three Elected Officials taken off the Compensation Schedule. Town counsel Kopelman and Paige will be contacted by Ken for their advice and whether it can be taken off the warrant for the Special Town Meeting on June 23, 2003.

A copy of the minutes was requested by Leslie to go to Personnel Board as well as to the BOS.
Members of the Personnel Board and Tom Mattson left at 8:30 PM.

Sharon asked where that left them (three Elected Officials) and that the BOS own the Compensation Schedule. Shirley said they have the three year agreement to go by and will be clarified by Town Counsel.
Ken said that the evaluations of the three Elected Officials would be done by the Fiscal year.

Chris Furno, Pam Carter and Sharon Brotherton left at 8:40 PM.

DOR Letter-Discussion:
Paula recommended calling the High School tomorrow to verify receiving the letter sent. Shirley recommended sending a letter to the school to invite the School Committee to the BOS meeting on June 3 and enclose the letter from our Town Counsel. Ken said the letter to the School Committee Chair-John Durkin should be sent certified, Edward A. Therrien agreed.
Paula said we all need to sit down and talk together, not send letters back and forth. Rich Preston agreed that a talk tonight would have cleared the air.
Pam Holmes is upset with the School Budget recommendation. She suggested putting three columns on the Warrant. Ken will mention to School Superintendent Connie Verge.

8:30 PM Motion to adjourn by Rich Preston
Seconded by Edward A. Therrien
All-Aye


Respectfully submitted,



Jane L. Brule
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