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Officials mull next move in Clark contract talks


January 27, 2011
SOUTHBRIDGE — After the Town Council voted against accepting a new three-year contract extension for Town Manager Christopher Clark Monday night, Jan. 24, members of the council and Clark are left wondering what the next move is.

Town Councilor Larry "Butch" McDonald spoke at length at Monday's meeting, citing the confusing language included in the document as his main concern with the contract. At the meeting, he compared voting for the contract as the same as buying a house or car without understanding the payment system for it.

"The contract was for a set period of time that was an amendment to the original contract that changed the percentages of pay raises," said McDonald. "When this new contract would start on Aug. 19, 2011, the manager had put the same verbiage in the old contract and put it in the new contract. What should have happened was the salary that he would be receiving starting Aug. 19 should have been in Paragraph A, Section 4. But it wasn't. What was there was the initial negotiated salary of when he first started. The subsequent paragraphs had the percentages of how much he would make and had dates."

On the original contract that was established when Clark first started, the first amendment to the contract included a 2-percent increase in pay that would expire in August 2009.

In the new contract, a 2-percent increase would also occur. By adding the old contract with the new contract, McDonald fears that the town could possibly be responsible for a 4-percent increase.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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