Granby Town board works through preliminary budget

by Nicole Reitz

Prior to the latest Town of Granby Board meeting, the tentative 2013 budget was reviewed by the four elected town board members, Supervisor Ed Williamson and Budget Officer John Snow Jr.

The first item discussed was the superintendent of highway’s salary. Highway Superintendent Ray Sullivan is asking for a five-percent raise. The department has requested $49,893, up from last year’s budgeted amount of $47,493. Sullivan replaced former Highway Superintendent Lynn Moyer after her retired and has been in the position for one year.

Council member Lori Blackburn started off the discussion by questioning why the board doesn’t have a written raise policy. “We just arbitrarily pick who gets a raise?” asked Blackburn.

Williamson said that only the assessor and code clerk get the same raise across the board.

“I think he (Sullivan) should spend some more time getting used to his job, before we think about giving him a raise,” said Williamson.

Council member Matt Callen agreed. “With unemployment at ten percent, I don’t think anyone should get a raise right now,” he said. “If you’ve got a job, you’re lucky with the way the economy is right now.”

Blackburn disagreed that Sullivan should be denied a raise, saying that in her experience most everyone gets a raise after their first year. She noted that a three-percent raise would be $1,300.

Snow said that after the primary, the highway superintendent’s salary was increased by $4,392, but the town clerk position was not increased at all. Last year at this time, the town clerk’s salary was cut to $26,250. Ruth Sheldon, who resigned as the town clerk, was making $32,700 when she left her position.

“I think that was because there was a misrepresentation of what the salary was going to be when he (Sullivan) was running,” town board member Susan Richardson said of the salary increase. “And we were trying to make it a little more equitable.”

The highway superintendent position was drastically reduced before the election, therefore Snow wouldn’t call the $4,392 a raise per-say.

Williamson pointed out that when Moyer took the job 16 years ago, he started off by making $34,000 a year.

Richardson argued that it was a different economy then and that one must take into consideration inflation.

Snow mentioned how Sullivan is an elected official and that his interest should be in representing the people.

“But you still have to make a living,” said Blackburn

Snow responded, “If you add up all the payroll on both sides, and include all the benefits, out of our budget, we spend $802,000. What we take in, as far as estimated revenue, 41.6 percent of that is for employees, payroll and benefits, it seems like a lot of money.”

“We have to run the town and pay employees,” said Blackburn.

“You can run the town without a $2,000 raise every year,” said Snow.

While Blackburn still pushed for a raise for the highway superintendent, she said that a five percent increase in salary may not be realistic.

Town board member Joe Cortini asked Snow if there is a standard for small towns as for what the payroll should be as a percentage.

There isn’t, according to Snow, and comptroller’s office can’t decide that for local municipalities.

To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397

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