Town of Lamoine, Maine
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Lamoine Budget Committee
Minutes of November 10, 2008
Chairman Henry Ashmore called the meeting to order at 7:03 PM
Present were: Budget Committee members Henry Ashmore, Hubene Brodie, Reggie McDevitt, Merle Bragdon, Robin Veysey; Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, Selectmen Brett Jones, Jo Cooper and Cynthia Donaldson.
Minutes of October 13, 2008 – Reggie moved to approve the minutes as presented. Merle 2 nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.
Resignation – Henry noted that Linda Feury has submitted her resignation as the alternate member. He said he trusted the Selectmen would take action to appoint a replacement.
Administration Budget – Stu reported that Selectmen reviewed the budget last Thursday and no changes were suggested.
Salaries – Henry suggested that the committee review the budget line by line, and he would stop if there were any questions.
There was a brief discussion about the computation of benefits. Stu explained that he took the current year costs to figure the next year's budget, so it's likely to come out low.
Henry said he had a problem with the percentage of increase in the town clerk/tax collector's pay rate. He said it was not up to the budget committee to set salaries, but he felt it was a lot high. Selectman Cooper said she initially felt the same way and raised the issue at the Selectmen's meeting and was persuaded otherwise. She noted that clerk/tax collector Jennifer Kovacs has worked for five years now, and has the experience and the job performance to warrant the recommended salary. She said Lamoine appears to lag behind compensation for comparable job experience. She said the impact on the budget was pretty minimal.
Merle noted the actual pay rate was up 24%, but the budget line was up only 15%. Stu said he calculated fewer hours. Henry said the committee should look at the entire budget and recommend the bottom line. He said the committee could recommend holding the budget even, and the Selectmen could allocate the budget anyway they wished.
Selectman Jones said there is a cost to the town to bring a person to the experience and capability level that the town clerk/tax collector has attained. He said it's worth it to retain good personnel. Hubene said she was concerned that last year former assistant clerk Kathy DeFusco did not get as much of an increase as did Ms. Kovacs. She said she put out a proposal to implement a pay scale that goes up by steps. She said with that in place, it would avoid similar predicaments. Stu noted that Ms. Kovacs and Mrs. DeFusco made the same amount of money. Brett said the Selectmen could discuss that, but it seems to be like a union type of situation. He said he'd rather be able to reward a good employee for a good effort. Hubene said that if Ms. Kovacs were to leave, the current assistant would have seniority, and it shouldn't work that way.
A discussion followed regarding recommending a bottom line vs. recommendations on individual lines. Reggie said he would recommend that the clerk/tax collector make $15/hour since she has been here 5-years. Merle said the proposal is for $14/hour. A short discussion followed.
Assessors Pay – Stu said he had a brief discussion with the Chair of the Board of Assessors and she felt there should be some pay equity with the Selectmen, and the ability to have some flexibility in how the board is paid relative to the effort. He said the Selectmen will meet with the Assessors on November 20 th . Henry said the Selectmen should not make up a rule for a unique situation. A discussion followed about oversight of elected officials.
Election Workers - There was a brief discussion about the pay rate for Election Workers.
Administrative Expenses – The committee reviewed each line of the budget and discussed the following:
Stu distributed copies of the just completed audit.
There was a discussion about the capital needs spreadsheet and spreading out the cost of potential debt vs. using and funding reserve accounts. There was a brief discussion about the needs for a fire truck and paving/liquid asphalt.
Next Meeting – The next meeting will be December 1, 2008 at 7:00 PM
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:37 PM
Stu Marckoon, Secretary