Charter panel mulls salary requirements
Pay for town's elected officials proposed
June 16, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — The Charter Review Committee is recommending requiring the payment of salaries to town councilors and school committee members — $3,000 per person plus $2,000 for the chairman.
The idea came from member Gary Fontaine, who argued it is "only fitting; we're having a hard time getting people to run. … They're out, away from their families more days than not."
He said he saw it as a way to recognize their effort while avoiding the politics that would develop were councilors themselves to propose it. Furthermore, he said, it might help make ends meet or "it'll pay for a man's vacation with his wife for a week."
Chairman Laurent "Butch" McDonald — who abstained from voting because he's a candidate this year and son of a councilor — limited his comment on the issue to reading the current charter section, which states, "The Town Council may provide an annual salary for its members." Fontaine's proposal, as modified by member Ken O'Brien, replaces the "may" with "shall," defines the sums, and makes it effective the fiscal year following the revised charter's adoption.
Dennis Martinek, the committee's only 'no' vote, said, "I don't see it in these economic times."
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