Letter: First Selectman supported salary increase

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To the editor,

The Oct.14, 2011 edition of the Citizen’s News published an article on page 5 named “Democratic candidates vow not to raise pay,” where the Democratic candidate for first selectman, Susan Cable, announced that she and her running mate would not ask for a raise if elected on Nov. 8.

First Selectman Cable further states that earlier this year several “Republicans” suggested that the first selectman’s salary should be raised to $65,000. First Selectman Cable clearly has forgotten her last published position on raising her own salary.

It is true that several Republicans supported this revolutionary idea of paying someone a wage respective to the position and responsibilities of the job. In addition several felt that it was time to make the first selectman’s position full-time because the current part-time first selectman was allowing too many issues to slip through the cracks or go days without resolution.

The first selectman fails to mention in the article that she actively endorsed the salary increase proposal and supported giving the first selectman position a substantial raise effectively doubling the current salary. This salary discussion was taking place at the same time that the Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance were struggling with the 2011-12 proposed town budget (special meeting minutes dated March 1, March 7, and March 15, 2011).

At a special Board of Selectmen meeting held on March 8, 2011 called specifically to discuss the first selectman’s salary and other positions, First Selectman Cable presented her plan to raise her salary to $60,000 over a four-year period incrementing the salary $6,200 each year. During the discussion she felt $65,000 was too much, but would support raising the salary to $60,000. This was Susan Cable’s $60,000 plan, and was not something proposed by the Republicans.

If anyone is interested in reading the minutes of this special meeting on salaries, the minutes are posted on the town website in the 2011 minutes folder on the Board of Selectmen minutes page. These minutes are named “Board of Selectmen Minutes 3/8/11 – Special.” I have attached the full address link to the minutes. Minutes

Michael Krenesky

Beacon Falls

Selectman

7 COMMENTS

  1. Just for the record, all municipalities should be following the CT Freedom of Information guidelines (http://www.ctfog.org/FOIA.htm). In a nutshell minutes for all public meetings need to be on paper (in longhand) no more than 48 hours and online no more than 7 days from the date of the meeting.

    Sec. 1-225. (Formerly Sec. 1-21). Meetings of government agencies to be public. Recording of votes. Schedule and agenda of meetings to be filed and posted on web sites. Notice of special meetings. Executive sessions. (a) The meetings of all public agencies, except executive sessions, as defined in subdivision (6) of section 1-200, shall be open to the public. The votes of each member of any such public agency upon any issue before such public agency shall be reduced to writing and made available for public inspection within forty-eight hours and shall also be recorded in the minutes of the session at which taken. Not later than seven days after the date of the session to which such minutes refer, such minutes shall be available for public inspection and posted on such public agency’s Internet web site, if available, except that no public agency of a political subdivision of the state shall be required to post such minutes on an Internet web site. Each public agency shall make, keep and maintain a record of the proceedings of its meetings.

  2. I agree with both BF Resident and goe-anita. It is unacceptable that minutes and agendas are not available. I was told it is up to the town clerk to post them, and it is not anyone else’s job. Who has time to go to town hall? The technology should be used to make information available to all in a timely manner.

  3. BF resident has a valid point. I’ve questioned the lag time myself, and I sit on one of the Commissions lacking updated minutes online.

    The Town Clerk position is voted in, he was not hired, therefore there is no supervisor to ensure the job is being done. Evidently without supervision and accountability the Town Clerk does not see the need to do his job. Beacon Falls residents pay for this ‘service.’

    This may be one of the reasons the First Selectman wants this position to be filled through a hiring process.

  4. Really? I see lots of minutes uploaded for the selectmen on September 22nd, and a few uploaded in another area on the the 29th of September, but nothing since then shown as one of those Acrobat documents you write about. How long of a process is this? There are not current minutes for any of the other groups. How can you say this is okay? When the person who takes the minutes hands them in, how long does it take for that town clerk office to get them put online? This is the clerk’s office that is doing such a wonderful job???? If I acted like this, I would be FIRED! We got a new website, but what good is it? Shouldn’t the town clerk’s be doing this correctly? Why are YOU doing it? The website has been up and running since summer. Why hasn’t the town clerk been doing it properly?

  5. Please revisit the Town Website as the Town Clerk’s Office is in the process of uploading the prior minutes for all Boards & Committees. The process requires renaming them after loading, but you can find many of the previous Selectmen Minutes named as “Acrobat Documents” on page two (2) of the minutes site. As acting Webmaster I have been renaming/identifying them to make them easier to locate. There may be some duplication, which will be corrected over time.

    http://www.beaconfalls-ct.org/Pages/BeaconFallsCT_SelectmenMin/2011/

  6. Why can’t we read the minutes from ALL the meetings online? Why do they end in May? Isn’t it the TOWN CLERK’s job to post them? This same town clerk who Mr. Smith said in a previous letter to the editor that is doing such a fine job?

  7. Again, the minion for Mr. Smith failed to give all the facts. As a member of the Board of Finance and as its chairman, Mr. Smith pushed to increase the salary of the First Selectman’s position. Mr. Smith also was in favor of making the position a “Full Time “job. As to the “Republicans” suggested that the first selectman’s salary should be raised” that is true, because Mr. Smith is now, as was then, the Republican candidate for the First Selectman’s position. As far as the timing of the talks, “ at the same time that the Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance were struggling with the 2011-12 proposed town budget” Mr. Smith would not know about that because he choose to abandon his position on the Board of Finance at the critical point in the budget year. As we can see, once again when facts don’t support their arguments some fall back on mudslinging instead.