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January 31. 2013 8:22PM

Plaistow selectmen seeking first pay raise in 43 years

PLAISTOW - Selectmen want a pay raise.

Voters at Saturday's town deliberative session will debate a proposed warrant article seeking to bump up the annual salary of each of the five selectmen from $1,000 to $3,000.

The article asks voters to approve $10,000 to pay for the increase along with an additional $765 to cover the town's payments to Social Security and Medicare.

According to the town, selectmen haven't had a pay raise since March 1970 and the average salary paid by the 31 towns of similar size with populations of between 5,000 and 9,999 is slightly more than $3,000.

Selectman Michelle Curran, board chairman, hung up the phone when the New Hampshire Union Leader contacted her for a comment on the pay raise and other proposals on the town warrant. Before any questions could be asked, Curran said she has had bad experiences with reporters in the past and then abruptly hung up.

The proposed pay raise is one of several up for debate at the deliberative session, which begins at 10 a.m. at the Town Hall. The meeting will give voters an opportunity to discuss and change the proposed town warrant before they make their final decisions at the polls March 12.

Also up for discussion is a proposed $7,708,218 town budget. Defeating the budget would force the town into a higher default budget totaling $7,785,599.

Other proposed warrant articles include spending $25,000 for an architectural and cost study of the town's public safety complex and its future space needs.

Voters will also be asked to approve $80,000 in surplus funds to replace the roof of the public safety complex that's been leaking for years and has damaged the ceiling and fire alarm system.

Another $80,000 proposal calls for the construction of an outdoor shelter at the Old County Road recreation facility to provide protection for those using the town's summer recreation program.

jschreiber@newstote.com


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