West Newbury

Selectmen seek more information before approving 2015 wage rates

Selectmen are seeking more information before voting to approve fiscal year 2015 wage rates for town employees. Both contractual and noncontractual employees are expected to receive a 2 percent wage increase, according to finance director Warren Sproul, while public safety dispatchers are expected to receive a 1 percent wage increase. Town Meeting approved $1,000 stipends for three assessors, but because a ballot initiative to change assessor positions from elected to appointed ultimately failed this spring, selectmen are seeking to decrease that stipend to $1. By shifting the positions to appointed status and offering a higher stipend, the goal was to solicit more qualified candidates, according to officials. Selectmen also have questions regarding changes to the fire chief’s pay, as well as recommended changes to differential payments for firefighters.