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Selectmen Discuss Streamlining Hiring Process

Following a discussion on hiring a new Information Technology (IT) Support Technician at their March 7 meeting, selectmen have asked Town Administrator Richard Villani and Human Resources Director Maureen Giffin to work with the Personnel Board to try to streamline the approval processes needed to hire a new employee.

The issue involved Villani and Giffin's recommendation to hire Matthew Arena

to replace an employee who left the town's employ, with both recommending Arena's experience made him deserving of a certain pay level and step carrying a rate of $24.04 per hour. However, the Personnel Board had yet to vote to increase the position to that level and step – meaning the Board

of Selectmen would have to start Arena at a lower amount of pay until after the Personnel Board could increase it.

Villani and Giffin said that 135 people had applied to fill the vacancy for the position, with the list narrowed down first to 11 people and then to six. With two of them dropping out of contention, four finalists were interviewed by Finance Director Zachary Taylor, IT Manager Andrew Diorio and Giffin. "I don't want to be in this position again," said Selectman William Buckley, referring to past attempts to hire a Local (Building) Inspector that ran into the same problem, a delay between hiring and approval by the Personnel Board of a pay level. Selectmen, he added, should not "make an offer to a candidate we know we can't commit to." He asked that a new process be developed that might involve the Personnel

Board meeting more than just a month, so as not to delay hiring people.

"This is a process that goes back to the '50s that Maureen inherited," commented Selectman William Kingkade. "It's so archaic," he continued, calling it "a process that most people couldn't even relate to."

Giffin said the process had been explained to Arena and he agreed to start at the lower pay until the Personnel Board increased it.

The board did vote unanimously to hire Arena. While meeting separately with Giffin to review some draft personnel policies with her, all three selectmen took the time to praise the impact she had had on town government since being hired as the town's first-ever employee dedicated solely to Human Resources.

Pay Raises

In a related personnel matter, selectmen

voted unanimously to recommend a 2.5 percent pay increase in the next fiscal

year for the elected full-time Town Clerk and Highway Surveyor positions, as well

as for the Tree Warden, Town Moderator and elected board members who receive stipends. At Buckley's suggestion, the

chart of people eligible to receive a raise was amended to include members of the Water Commission – whom he said would not draw their stipends until the town acquired the privately owned Milford Water Company. Villani advised the board that Town Clerk Amy Neves' recommended salary included an extra $1,963, the same amount she used to receive for serving as clerk to the Board of Registrars. In a memo to Villani, Neves said since town employees cannot receive two salaries, the Personnel Board last year took away that stipend.


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