LIVERMORE FALLS — Voters restored the town clerk’s 2 percent raise and the selectmen’s raise they received the year before during Monday’s special town meeting at Murray Hall.

They also rejected lowering the administration article, which includes the town manager’s salary, to $163,180 by a 33-62 secret ballot vote. The article passed at $169,140.

Voters approved two special town meeting articles in 90 minutes but not without amendments, debate and failed votes.

Moderator Darryl Brown laid down the rules of the meeting, asking people to respect one another because in the end, no matter the results, they will all still be members of the same community.

Nearly 100 residents showed up to take up a proposed $75,163 election official article and a proposed $169,140 administration article. Selectmen had previously adjusted the articles down by a combined $11,620 after voters rejected the initial articles in June. Eliminated were about $768 for a 2 percent raise for Town Clerk Kristal Flagg’s and $1,000 for selectmen, which equaled $200 each of the five members. That would have reduced their yearly stipend from $2,100 to $1,900.

Select board Chairman Bill Demaray motioned to raise $76,931 to restore Flagg’s raise and money for selectmen.

Demaray said he didn’t think it was fair that Flagg would be the only one who wouldn’t get a raise this year.

Resident Clayton Putnam countered with $75,931 that would keep Flagg’s raise but eliminate the additional money for selectmen.

Voters rejected Putnam’s reduction and approved Demaray’s increased article.

The most debate came in the administration article that was reduced nearly $10,000 by selectmen before it came back to voters.

Former Selectman Kenny Jacques motioned to increase the proposed amount to $178,992, the same that failed at the polls in June. That would have restored more money for legal fees and other operating expenses. It also meant that it would be $1,038 more than last year’s budgeted amount and not $8,814 less.

As quick as Jacques made the motion, resident Val Nichols countered with an amendment to give Town Manager Jim Chaousis a 2 percent raise just like other employees and not the 18 percent proposed.

Brown said he would need a specific figure to consider it a motion. Nichols sat down to do the math and proposed the initial article be reduced to $163,180.

Residents debated the matter with people speaking in favor of Chaousis and praising his work. Others said it wasn’t about Chaousis, it was about money and what the taxpayers could afford.

Former Selectman Jackie Knight said when Chaousis was hired he was still in school and did not have his degree or experience. He agreed to work for $45,000 with the intent that if he accomplished the goals set out then, his salary would increase to $53,000 the following year.

The problem is it is not about a good job, it is not about a bad job, Nichols said.

Chaousis reduced the hours of the transfer station and when he was asked to restore them, Nichols said, he was told there was no money.

“If there is no money, we can’t be spending money we don’t have,” Nichols said.

A former town manager made $55,000. The one before that made $50,500, according to information presented by different people.

Former Selectman Tom DuBois said he’s seen a strong work ethic from Chaousis.

“You reward good work. You reward good effort,” DuBois said.

Resident Peter Riordan said that people were missing the point.

“It’s not about Jim. It’s not about them (selectmen) up there,” Riordan said.

It’s the times we are in, he said. Where does it stop? he asked. The town is always asking for more, he said.

“We need. We need. We all need. The point is what can we afford,” Riordan said.

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