LIVERMORE FALLS — Selectmen decided Thursday to send two articles pertaining to pay cuts for administrative and elected officials to voters.

The vote is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 12, at a place yet to be determined.

The board and Budget Committee came up with new dollar amounts for the two articles that failed June 8.

Selectmen chose to go with an open town meeting in July to allow voters to discuss the articles and then vote by secret ballot, if they want.

The quicker turn-around time will let selectmen commit taxes early enough to apply for a state sudden and severe valuation impact. It would allow for the real valuation to be reflected earlier instead of waiting three years. The town is expected to lose about $30 million in valuation due to the closing of a paper mill. If the new valuation is approved, the town is expected to see more state revenue for both the town and the school.

Selectmen reduced the articles by a combined $11,620.

Selectmen voted 3-1 to reduce the board’s collective stipends for serving as town officials and assessors from $10,500 to $9,500.

That takes away a raise selectmen received last year and brings the amount each of the five will receive down to $1,900 a year.

Selectman Alphonso Barker opposed the amount saying it was not enough of a reduction.

Barker suggested that they also eliminate a 2 percent raise proposed for Town Clerk/Treasurer Kristal Flagg.

“I think if you cut the 2 percent, I think it will pass,” Barker said. Several gave high praise to Flagg and her dedication to the town while others said the private sector has not seen raises, and some don’t have jobs.

Flagg has been the one that the town has fallen back on in times of need, Budget Committee member John Ross said.

The reduction would keep Flagg’s salary at $38,413 instead of increasing it to $39,181.

Town Manager Jim Chaousis pointed out that Flagg has 25 years experience and he wouldn’t have been as successful as he has been without her expertise.

The board voted unanimously to reduce the elected officials budget from $75,413. However, the correct figure should be $75,163, Budget Committee member Megan Jackman said after the vote.

Chaousis said he will write up two warrants on the articles with the two different figures for board members to choose which one to sign. The intent was there but the dollar figure was incorrect

The warrant article will be written so that townspeople can increase the amount at town meeting if they want to re-instate Flagg’s proposed raise. Union employees are scheduled for a 2 percent wage increase this year.

The board also charged Chaousis to write an article in support of Flagg to be sent to the newspaper and be read at town meeting.

The board also voted to reduce the administration budget from $178,992 to $169,140. That lets Tax Collector Dawn Young keep her 2 percent raise since it is not an elected position and gives her the same raise amount as union workers.

Instead reductions will be made in legal fees and operating expenses including postage and payroll service as the Budget Committee had previously recommended.

“The changes I applaud but I still maintain there needs to be some public support for Mr. Chaousis,” Budget Committee Chairman Scott Roberts said.

He suggested selectmen stand up and say the “man is a bargain.”

Ross said Chaousis has gotten more done in one year than two previous town managers.

The reduced figure does not touch the town manager’s salary that is proposed to increase 18 percent. Discussion swirled around some townspeople’s anger about such a raise while others had high praise for Chaousis.

When the raise was given in April selectmen factored in 10 percent for performance, 6 percent for market adjustment and a 2 percent increase. It brings his salary to $53,000 from $45,000, which is in line with what other town managers are making managing a similar size town. He is scheduled for a 2 percent increase in 2011-12, according to his contract.

Selectmen and Budget Committee members agreed to support Chaousis publicly.

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