Chairman Henry Ashmore called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM
Present were: Budget Committee members Robin Veysey, Hubene Brodie, Joe Young, Henry Ashmore, Reggie McDevitt, Linda Feury; Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, and Selectman Chair Jo Cooper (arrived approx 8PM)
Minutes – Stu noted the September 25th minutes were approved as part of the Board of Selectmen’s minutes. There were no changes proposed by the Budget Committee
Compensation/Benefits – The committee continued discussion on compensation and a possible benefits package for non-education employees. Joe Young said we have to make comparisons to other towns, and what a person might be able to get in the marketplace with the skills to get the job done. He said Lamoine has to compete with other towns and with the private sector. Dr. Ashmore said it’s a shame that someone working in a public sector job has to get as much as they can to start with because they can’t get a big raise unless they move to another community. Mr. Young said private companies often bring in consultants to look at salaries and often, sizeable increases are recommended to retain valued employees. Dr. Ashmore asked if the Selectmen had ever considered that. Stu said no. Dr. Ashmore asked if Maine Municipal Association provides such a service. Stu said he’s not sure. Hubene Brodie said it’s a small town office, and the workers there have to do everything. She said raises would be a tough sell at town meeting. Discussion followed on how the teacher’s contract works.
Administration Salaries Budget – The committee reviewed the initial proposed administration salaries. Dr. Ashmore asked if the Selectmen had discussed them. Stu said they reviewed it last week, and expressed concern only about the benefits line, which he said was a number he plugged in. Mr. Young asked about benefits for those employees who work less than half time. There was a discussion about benefits for teacher’s aides. Robin Veysey said the aides get $1,000 a year to put toward health insurance or dental. She said there are some sick days built in for the aides. A discussion followed on how many hours the part-timers work, and what benefits they might want.
Dr. Ashmore asked Stu if there was any benefit he was particularly interested in. Stu answered retirement. A short discussion on retirement plans followed. Mrs. Brodie suggested that since Stu is the only full time employee, that discussion about retirement instead of health insurance might make sense. Stu said he’d be interested in the government equivalent of a 401K plan. Linda Feury said perhaps the town could identify a percentage to set aside, and let the employee decide what to apply it toward. Dr. Ashmore said if the employee doesn’t take anything, they don’t get cash instead. Reggie McDevitt suggested that no one would live long enough in town government to ever retire. He said it would be a poor piece to put before the Selectmen, and he would prefer health insurance benefits. There was discussion about being able to apply a health insurance benefit toward payments on a spouse’s plan. Dr. Ashmore asked what sum might be appropriate. Mrs. Feury said to budget the amount that would cover a single person plan, and said $5,000 is close. Dr. Ashmore said he wanted to clarify that the committee would recommend $5,000 in the benefits line for health insurance for one full-time employee. A short discussion followed on full-time vs. part-time.
Administration Expenses – The committee looked over the expense lines with questions on the following items:
Dr. Ashmore noted that the school department makes no report for the federal grants received and expended, and asked that it be included in the next town report.
Next Meeting – The committee meets next on November 3rd at 7:00 PM. It would like to review budgets for Solid Waste, Roads, and Revenues.
The November 17th meeting will include Code Enforcement and the Fire Department.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.
Stu Marckoon, Secretary