The Marion Finance Committee made a few tweaks to a letter addressed to the Board of Selectmen on January 29 and is preparing it to inform the selectmen that the committee is interested in reconstituting a Town personnel committee.
“There are some personnel decisions we should be involved in,” said Finance Committee Chairman Peter Winters.
A more formal Personnel Board supported with bylaws was dissolved back in 2000, according to Selectman John Waterman, and replaced by a more informal personnel committee composed of the selectmen and the Finance Committee members, which has been inactive for some time now.
Adding to the conversation, Finance Committee member Alan Minard had hoped to be chosen as a member of the committee to select a new town administrator but was not appointed.
The Finance Committee members discussed its availability to attend the next Board of Selectmen meeting on February 5 to talk about their personnel board idea, as well as the Reserve Fund transfer request to fund Town Administrator Paul Dawson’s 5.4 percent pay raise that the Finance Committee declined to approve during its last meeting.
Committee members on January 15 approved a Reserve Fund transfer request to fund the fire chief’s 8.8 percent pay raise, but declined to approve Dawson’s because, as Minard put it, “It ties the money up. … It’s not going to be necessary.”
The selectmen had asked Winters to attend its last meeting on January 22, but Winters was not able to attend, and neither was Minard in Winter’s place.
In other matters, the board discussed budget updates, specifically those of the Department of Public Works and a capital list of significant length. Trash is an issue with a fate that is still undecided as the town’s trash district approaches the end of its solid waste disposal contract with SEMASS and Marion’s trash collector trucks often breaking down.
“I think you’re going to see a lot of capital,” said Finance Director Judy Mooney. “It’s a big capital list.”
The Marion School District draft budget appears to be up only around 1.7 percent at this time, but the FinCom expects the Planning Board budget to be of some concern with its request to hire temporary part-time Town Planner Gil Hilario as a permanent full-time town planner.
The next regular meeting of the Marion Finance Committee is scheduled for February 6 at 6:00 pm at the Atlantis Drive facility, followed by another meeting on February 12 at 6:00 pm at the same venue.
Marion Finance Committee
By Jean Perry