By Pattie Pacella, Neighb News Correspondent
The Acushnet Selectboard heard from Town Finance Director, Julie Hebert on her budget and the Treasurer/Collector budget. Ms. Hebert stated that the salary line item had increased 2% for the COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment).
Selectboard member Kevin Gaspar asked what the line item “Professional Technical” meant. Ms. Hebert explained that was a “catch all” line item for courses, or classes that someone may take. She said it was a more generic category.
Ms. Hebert explained that the Treasurer/Collector budgets had been combined to be one this year and also included a 2% COLA increase. She also explained that there was a portion of that in the Golf Enterprise budget for the reconciling of the Golf fees and statements that the collector’s office does monthly.
Selectboard member Roger Cabral asked if a footnote could be added to the budget that best described what amount exactly was off set from the Golf Enterprise budget.
Ms. Hebert also presented the Selectboard with their budget. Again, she stated there was a 2% increase for the administration as well as 2% increase for the clerical positions.
Mr. Cabral asked if the COLA had to be at 2% for non-exempt employees. He said it should be a discussion at a future meeting, and not just arbitrarily be 2% without discussion.
Mr. Gaspar agreed there should be a discussion, as he stated he has done research on the COLA and the average nation-wide is 1.36%.
Town Administrator Brian Noble stated in his report that he has given his performance evaluation to the Selectboard members to review and complete.
Chairperson Mike Cioper stated he would like to give the opportunity to Department Heads to anonymously either fill out the evaluation or send their comments to the Board.
Mr. Gaspar disagreed, saying that it was up to the Selectboard to issue the evaluation not the department heads to give their opinion on their boss.
Mr. Cabral said he could see both opinions. He asked whether or not Mr. Noble minded if the department heads put in their comments, and perhaps they could send them to the Seletboard directly.
Mr. Noble said he did not mind if they weighed in with comments. He said he was not worried about it at all.
Mr. Gaspar made it clear that he was not in favor of the idea.
In other business, the Selectboard will put on as a future agenda item a letter received from Charlene Correia regarding a Senior Tax Abatement program that has never been implemented or funded in the Town. Mr. Noble stated it does have income restrictions and have limited contributions. He will add it to a future agenda for further discussion.
The Board also agreed to open the Annual Town Meeting Warrant date as February 5, 2019 and close as of March 5, 2019. Anyone who wants to have an item on the TM Warrant should contact the town clerk’s office for more information, 508-998‑0215.
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