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Health board votes on animal inspector stipend

By Jon Bishop

AYER — The Board of Health on Monday voted to use some of the $1,100 unexpended administrative-assistant salary funds to increase Animal Inspector Carlene Purdy’s stipend by $650.

According to Chairman Pam Papineau, the board had extra money because its previous administrative assistant left in July, and for a time, no salary went out.

Purdy’s original stipend was $1,000.

When the discussion arose, member Heather Hasz said she’d be “in favor of giving $500 of that toward Carlene.”

But Papineau stressed it should be $800. Purdy was initially hired about two years ago as a barn inspector, and now as animal inspector, must also do rabies control.

Clerk Mary Spinner said this amount was too much.

“We have bottom-line budgets,” she said. “To think that we have extra money — we don’t,” later adding it would be “too close to the bone.”

Hasz said she was hoping the “number (of unexpended dollars) would have been a bit higher, because it would have made it easier.”

That they had $1,100 gave them only about $300 to “wiggle around with,” Hasz said.

Papineau said even though she understood that it cuts close on the salary line item, they have “a little bit of leeway in some other items.”

“I would almost rather deal with a situation down the road and do what we need to do as a board to be fair to Carlene,” she said. “It’s a rare person that works for (about six months) without being compensated (for additional duties).”

She continued her push for $800.

Hasz suggested that they look at $650.

“It really is to show good faith on our end,” she said.

Papineau said $650 would be “a good happy medium,” and Hasz modified her motion accordingly.

“I’m not too comfortable, but I will second it,” Spinner said.

The Board of Health voted to unanimously approve the motion.

In other business, Papineau said Empire City, a restaurant in Ayer, has been re-inspected and all violations have been corrected.

“Happy day,” she said.

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