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Town clerk recommends stipend increase for registrars

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TOWNSEND — The Board of Selectmen and towns clerk’s office are considering pay adjustment for the town’s three registrars.

In a letter to selectmen, Town Clerk Sue Funaiole said they work between 70 and 75 hours on average each year and she recommended an increase of $240 to their current yearly stipend of $600.

“This is a particularly heavy year with the presidential primary and election, but the numbers indicate an average,” said Town Administrator Andy Sheehan.

Funaiole said the pay increase would make it fairer. Her compensation for being ex-officio member of the Board of Registrars would remain the same at $308. Aside from keeping records and helping to organize state, local and national elections, the registrars also do census work.

“It brings them up to 12 dollars per hour, for the average, this year they will be working well over 100 hours, so they won’t be making minimum wage,” she said.

Last year, Funiaole said, there were only three events the registrars worked at, though this year there will be 10. Events such as town meetings run between one to four hours, sometimes longer. Although they are helped by volunteers, national elections involve more people and take more time, Funiaole said. After receiving the information, Selectman Robert Plamondon said he would like to see other options.

“I appreciate the work she’s done but would like to see other numbers from other towns,” he said.

According to Sheehan, some towns do not even pay registrars, others compensate much higher than Townsend does and just about everything in between.

“This was brought up as ancillary to the wage compensation and classification plan. We are including stipend employees but the registrars were brought up by the clerk,” he said.

Funaiole says that about five years ago they were paid $1,200.

“(The current) registrars are experienced, having gone through a four-year cycle, including the last presidential election held at the high school,” she wrote in the letter.

Follow Luke Steere at twitter.com/lsnashobapub.

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