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Selectmen Consider Performance Based Raises for Town Employees

by Bobby Blair
December 5, 2017

Town Administrator Jeff Ritter told selectmen Monday night that bids are expected to be opened on December 21st for work on five doors at town hall. Town meeting approved $30,000 for the project. Ritter stated they (the doors) will be reproduced as exactly as we can get them. Ritter also announced the town is closing out the books on the tear down of Flagg School. Ritter said of the $850,000 approiated for the project, 134K was being returned to the town's General Fund.

The board added Chairman of the Board Kevin Conley to the Blair Square Study Committee. Conley will join Walter McGrath, Peter Barbieri, and Jamie Erickson on the committee. Conley would like one more member from the Friends of Holiston Trails to join the committee.

Selectmen accepted on behalf of the town a $400 gift from the Holliston Superette to the Senior Center for nutritional needs, a $10,000 donation to the police department by the Birch Foundation and a $250 donation for the police department for suicide prevention.

Technology Director Chris Meo brought the board up to date on the efforts of the town concerning the Green Communities activities. Meo said the town has reduced its energy usage 8.9% since 2015. Since 2015 the town has replaced a furnace at the fire station, insulated town hall and the fire station and replaced lights in the schools. With a $250,000 grant from the Green Communities the town has purchased two electric vehicles, weatherized the senior center and library and will be replacing the boiler at town hall. Meo noted that the town now purchases 22.34% of their energy needs from renewable sources.

Ken Szajda, Chairman of the town's Finance Committee, above right, rolled out guidelines for the ensuing 2018/19 budget. Szajda told selectmen his committee is suggesting a 1.5% increase in department budgets and a 1% increase in wages of non-collective bargaining employees. Szajda told board members that state funding is not keeping up with town expenses and that the state is slowly shifting the burden to cities and towns.

Szajda said his committee did not wish to weigh in on department head or employee raises as there is not presently a performance review by selectmen.of town employees. Szajda said the idea of  giving raises should be to those who are considered stars in their respective departments. The raise would be earned by assessing performance vs job description. Selectmen took Szajda's advice under consideration.

 

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