TOWNSEND -- The Finance Committee chose a new chairman and clerk after the former clerk stepped down from the position.
"Carolyn (Smart) doesn't want to be clerk," Chairman Andrea Wood said. Smart was not at the Feb. 21 meeting; she submitted her resignation by letter.
"I've got another idea. I'd be the clerk if one of you would be the chairman," Wood said, "I can do the agendas. There's a lot of work to do in the clerk's position." Nancy Rapoza was named the new chairman and Wood became the clerk.
The members in attendance chose the departments they would work with. "They're very nice and they'll talk to you and email what you want," Wood said.
Colin McNabb took responsibility for meeting with the Council on Aging, Library and Police Department. "Since they're close to each other, I'm happy," he said.
"I'll do police," Rapoza said.
"All right. This is wonderful," Wood said, "The fire and police both have big increases, extraordinary expenses, the cover letter said."
Gini King will work on the Highway Department budget.
Once the individual members have spoken to the departments, they will report back to the committee. The other municipal budgets are smaller and less likely to see big increases and can be looked at as a whole, Wood said.
"I like this approach. I think it will work well," McNabb said.
Union negotiations are under way for the highway, police, fire and communications/dispatch departments. Most of the negotiations are still in the preliminary stages, according to the town administrator, Wood said.
Personal contracts are also up this year, said Town Administrator Andy Sheehan in a follow-up conversation. Only the contract for the fire chief has been resolved.
Don Klein received a 2.5 percent salary increase, bringing his yearly salary to $81,328. Because he will hit the required retirement age of 65, he only has a nine-month contract, Sheehan said.
Contracts for Sheehan and police Lt. David Profit are also in negotiation this year.
The committee approved a request from the town clerk for transfers of $700 and $900 to pay for the senate and town election scheduled for April 30. The funds will pay for ballot printing and personnel, Wood said. Some of the cost might be reimbursed by the state.
This will be the first time the town has run state and local elections together, said Town Clerk Sue Funaiole the next day. "It costs us some money and it saves us some money. I'm hoping (the savings is) over $1,000. Even if it's $500, a savings is a savings is a savings," she said.
Because the town election was moved, the date for submitting papers for local seats has been changed to March 13.