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Proposed town salaries announced

Proposed 2009 salaries for the Town of Pomfret have been announced by Town Clerk Roberta Valentine. The figures were released at a Town Council budget workshop session earlier this week.

Increases are proposed for two salaries, that of James Oakes, highway superintendent, whose pay would go up 3 percent from $57,349 to $59,069; and that of Roberta Valentine, town clerk, whose 3 percent pay hike would bring her from $31,185 to $32,121.

The other annual pay rates remain the same: Town supervisor, $9,000; four board members, $4,500 each; deputy supervisor (Councilwoman Pat Christina), an added $600; and the two town justices, $14,914 each.

There are proposed increases in stipends. Oakes would receive an additional $3,300 in his role as cemetery maintenance supervisor (this year he receives $3,000); $2,800 as public works superintendent (this year, $2,400); and another $2,300 as insurance administrator (this year, $2,000). This would bring his total 2009 salary to $67,469.

The work hours were cut for the position of deputy town clerk from 20 hours a week to 17. Valentine was offered a new stipend of $600 in her computer server maintenance role. She said she did not want the money. She asked if the sum could be put back into the deputy clerk's budget line to help reinstate her hours. No action was taken.

Valentine said Tuesday that hers is the only town department for which cuts are being proposed.

"This is a disservice to the taxpayers in the town," she said.

Valentine said she made other substantial cuts from her department budget in an attempt to be fiscally responsible in the coming year but did not feel a staffing cut would be proposed by the board for her deputy town clerk. She added Councilman William Hart was not in favor of the staff work hour reduction.

The public hearing for the proposed $2.74 million town budget is set for next Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Town Hall. The budget calls for an increase of 8 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation. The proposed tax rate would rise to $3.47 per $1,000 within the Village of Fredonia and $4.99 per $1,000 outside the village.

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