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Townsend selectmen take part in ‘challenges’ of wage-matrix hearings


TOWNSEND — After a double-header of wage matrix hearings Tuesday and Wednesday, the Board of Selectmen have a lot of homework.

Selectman Sue Lisio called the requests made over the two nights “challenges” with many “unique situations that may call for unique solutions” among them. During the meeting, selectmen said a work session would be necessary for a final draft to be prepared tentatively decided for Tuesday, April 17 at 6 p.m.

Selectmen Chairman Robert Plamondon apologized for the span of time needed for research, but time commitments next week and the amount of data they have to mine through.

“I understand they haven’t had raises in a while. We want to have deliberations in a proper forum,” he said.

Summer Recreation Director Karen Clement appealed the classification of several recreation summer positions. Aside from Clement, two assistant directors who coordinate sports and arts and crafts program areas and roughly 20 counselors are also employed by Townsend Recreation.

Clement argued that the responsibilities of the assistants lie in reporting of equipment needs and caring for the inventory.

She said it was “work that was much harder than regular counselors.”

After getting “red circled” by HRS, which means current pay rates are maxed out when compared to those comparable in the area surveyed, Highway Department Superintendent Ed Kukkula argued he should the position should be rated higher.

Five years ago, a 20-hour-per-week administrative assistant position at the Highway Garage was eliminated. Kukkula said he absorbed all the responsibilities and tasks of that job.

Aside from handling payroll, bills, letters, bookkeeping, phone calls and other secretarial work, Kukkula oversees Highway Department workers.

What level classifications mean across different departments were up for discussion once again.

Fire Chief Don Klein proposed a certification-based system for on-call fire firefighters. All are within Teir 2, and slotted within Level 1 for regular firefighters, Level 2 for those with EMT-B certification and Level 5 for EMT-i certifications.

At the Water Department, certifications were requested to be used for water technicians Jim Blanchard and Michael MacEachern. Blanchard was slotted Level 1 and MacEachern Level 5, even though they have the same qualifications, because HRS deemed MacEachern’s 15 years on the job a merit increase.

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