Selectmen Insist on Raise for Town Clerk in Budget

SANDOWN – Though commending her for again opting out of a raise, the board of selectmen changed town clerk/tax collector Michelle Short’s payroll line to give her the full 2 percent raise possible in the coming year.
In Monday night’s relatively quick meeting focusing on budget review, Short’s change was the most notable item.

Last year Short turned down a raise, flatlining her salary, despite giving raises to her employees. This year she gave a full 2 percent to employees and put herself down for a 1 percent increase.
Selectman Brenda Copp noted the issue at the start of the town clerk’s budget proposal review. Copp said that she was very uncomfortable with letting the lower number go through for the second year in a row.
“Now you’re down 3 percent,” said Copp.
Short said it was nice of Copp to look out for her, but she was comfortable with the number. Short pointed to a lack of increased responsibilities at her work, the fact that she enjoys it and that her employees do a great job of keeping the office running smoothly as justification for her not needing the extra money.
Copp said that despite all of that, Short was not taking into account the annual increase in the cost of living, and pointed out how the extra money would help mitigate that.
The board unanimously agreed to bring the raise up to the full 2 percent for Short, a sum of about $175. That payroll line was approved at $49,164.
The town clerk’s budget was approved at a gross expense of $60,858, with revenue of $12,623.
The board also approved, to be sent on the budget committee, the building inspector’s budget at a gross expense of $14,030, and after some discussion, a reduced revenue of $17,000.
Code enforcement was sent to the budget committee at a gross of $3,567 and zero revenue.
Last on the list was the Zoning Board of Adjustment at a gross expense of $2,766 and revenue of $850.
In other business, the board set the date for deliberative session for Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014.

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