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Manchester aldermen calls for another's ouster from subcommittee

MANCHESTER - Things got heated at an aldermen's subcommittee meeting on Monday, with its chairman calling for the removal of another member from the panel.

The incident arose when Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur wanted to say something at a meeting of the Human Resources/Insurance Committee. Alderman William Shea, the chairman of the committee, felt that he had not recognized Levasseur before he began speaking.

"You will recognize the chair," Shea told Levasseur.

"I'm going to speak anyway. I have to refute something," Levasseur said, indicating that he had raised his hand to speak.

The issue was one that Levasseur has been passionate about: the salary of the welfare commissioner. Specifically, Levasseur has railed against the salary of the current office holder, Paul Martineau, who gets $113,000.

Shea called upon City Clerk Matthew Normand to summon a police officer. The City Hall security guard was standing by.

Levasseur said he had said his piece and would remain quiet for the duration of the discussion, which he did.

After a few tense moments, Alderman Ron Ludwig continued discussing the salary of the welfare post.

The aldermen did manage to make progress on the issue, after all. The assistant city solicitor determined that there were conflicting ordinances concerning how the welfare commissioner post is classified. The position is the only elected office in the city that is included in the Yarger Decker pay system of mandated annual raises.

Members of the committee were supportive of changing the ordinances to establish a set salary for the commissioner post, but first they asked the city's human resources director to come up with an estimate for such a salary.

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