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Town Raises

What would you say if I told you the top 10 jobs in Longmeadow government have grown during the past three years to total over one million dollars per year plus fringes? No way, I said when that piece of information was given to me. I got a list of the FY09 salary budget with some eye-opening facts.

Our Town Manager, who was paid $87,000 in 2006, now receives a salary of $101,500 plus a car allowance and fringes, a hefty 16 percent salary increase when three to five percent raises are the norm. Also Paul Pasterczyk, Finance Director, went from $85,000 in 2006 to his current $98,000. In 2006 Mike Grabel, Director of Public Works, was paid $82,000 but is now earning $95,000. Not bad for a Public Works Manager who isn't even an engineer. When we need technical help we must pay a consultant thousands of dollars for his expertise. Why didn't we hire someone with an engineering degree? The addition of new positions not provided for in our new charter Purchasing Coordinator and Human Resources Coordinator have added $88,000 to our payroll. (Don't forget the fringes!)

These numbers fascinated me as it is unusual for a non-profit organization to pay such high salaries and such substantial raises. With industry usually in the three to five percent range for good work and five to seven percent for above average performers, we seem to reward our friends for just showing up. I decided to spot check some lower positions. Newly hired Human Resources Coordinator (2006) who was paid $38,797 is now paid $44,673, a 15 percent increase. The Purchasing Coordinator hired at $36,767 in 2006 is now at $43,392, an 18 percent increase. Hal Haberman should be monitoring these decisions by our Town Manager, as these seem out of touch with the current fiscal situation. With a recession at hand, where does Robin think the money is coming from to fund all her plans?

Samuel Altman