Harrison manager given hefty raise

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HARRISON — In an apparent effort to provide a more equitable salary, Town Manager Tim Pellerin was given a $10,000 raise at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on November 8.

The action to raise the salary from $70,000 to $80,000, following a six-month probationary period, was made on a 4-0 vote by the Board of Selectmen at the end of the two hour and 30 minute meeting on November 8 and following an executive session, according to the draft minutes of the meeting. The motion was made by Selectman Richard Sykes and seconded by Raymond Laplante.

Chairman Matthew Frank said Tuesday that the board felt Pellerin has done a “superior” job and felt the payraise was appropriate and warranted at the end of his six month probationary period.

“We wanted to reward him,” he said.

By state statute all new hirees are on a six-month probationary period and subject to a review at the end of that time.

In March it was announced that Pellerin had been hired as the town’s next Town Manager. According to information from Town Clerk Melissa St. John, he was hired at a starting salary of $70,000.

Pellerin replaced retiring Town Manager Bud Finch who was hired in 2010. Finch’s initial one-year contract call for an annual salary of $52,000.

The discrepancy in starting salary numbers do not tell the whole story, however.

St. John said the salaries of the two managers can not be compared “apples to apple” because Finch had a cell phone paid for and a flat monthly mileage rate along with a different health insurance package.

Pellerin, who also noted the difference in benefits packages, told the Advertiser Democrat Tuesday morning, that he took a $4,000 a year pay cut when he came to Harrison from Rangeley “because I really wanted the job.”

In retrospect, Pellerin said he probably should have negotiated a higher salary when he started. “I have found there are more challenges than was originally thought, more to do,” he said.

Pellerin has been in municipal government administration since 1994, serving in the positions of deputy chief, fire chief, director, and serving the previous four years as manager in the town of Rangeley.

In other action, the board discussed replacing the four docks located on Long Lake with new rebuilt ones. Board members said the two by the gazebo are 20 years old and the two at the boat launch are 18 years old. Both sets are beyond repair and need replacement for next year, according to the draft minutes of the meeting.

Selectmen voted unanimously on a motion by Laplante and second by Sykes to spend $15,792.33 to replace the docks at the gazebo and at Long Lake boat landing.

Pellerin reported to the board that the winter parking ban is in place from November 15 to April 15. Parking on all public streets, roads and parking lots is prohibited during snowstorms. Violators will have their vehicles towed at the owner’s expense.

The town is offering a limited amount of winter sand to help residents with icy walkways. The sand, which is located at the Transfer Station and the Public Works Facility, is available during normal work hours for personal use only, according to information from the town. It can be picked up in a 5-gallon pail or equivalent, Pellerin said. Selectmen said two, five gallon pails of sand is “a reasonable amount,” according to the draft minutes.

The Community Tree Decorating/Lighting will be held at the Crystal
Lake Gazebo on November 28. The first, of what is hoped to be an annual, Polar Fest is also set for January 12, 2019 and 13 at the Radar sports complex.

ldixon@sunmediagroup.net