MEXICO — The Mexico Board of Selectmen voted 4-1 Tuesday to send letters to other Med-Care member-towns to ask if they have a similar interest in Med-Care employee salaries.
Selectman Reggie Arsenault, a town representative on the Med-Care board, cast the dissenting vote.
Selectmen Andy Dupuis and Albert Aniel have led the effort to learn the Med-Care salaries, which Dupuis said has been going on for six months.
A previous request by the board asking Med-Care for a list of employee salaries was unsuccessful.
Board of Selectmen Chairman Richie Philbrick said, “They aren’t going to give out any names or anything on the letters that we sent. I guess their attorney said it’s private sector.”
“When they increase their budget 30 percent; I think we should contact the town’s attorney to see if they do have to release it. It’s public knowledge. I don’t care what they’re telling you here,” Dupuis previously said.
Aniel had made a motion, seconded by Dupuis, to try to use a Freedom of Access Act request for the list of salaries.
“You’re going to be spending a couple thousand dollars for this,” Town Manager John Madigan said.
“We should contact the other towns first to see if they feel the way we do. We should not shoulder this (legal cost) on our own. We seem to be only ones complaining,” Selectman Byron Ouellette said.
Aniel and Dupuis then rescinded their motion in favor of a motion to send a letter to other Med-Care member towns to gauge their interest in Med-Care employee salaries.
Madigan said Mexico’s current share to Med-Care is $63,264, up from $50,000 in each of the previous three years.
“It’s a competitive market out there. Unfortunately, we don’t want to give names out, and who’s making what, because then these other companies are going to try to bring these guys in. Our pay is comparable, but a lot of these don’t want to have to travel,” Arsenault said at the previous meeting regarding Med-Care.
In other business, Madigan said that now that the annual town audit is complete, he will meet with the auditor and begin putting numbers together for a proposed tax rate for the town.
He said a special town meeting to set the mill rate will take place late in September.
Because of a $40,000 increase in revenue from excise taxes over the past year, Madigan believes the tax rate will be the same as last year at $26 per $1,000 of assessed value.