The Board of Finance on Tuesday, March 26, voted to increase the first selectman's salary by $35,000 to $115,000. The increase will take effect after the municipal election in November, when the new term starts.
"From what we have seen with these big storms, the management of the town has been more complicated and it's a full-time job and then some," said Chairman Liz Mao when the board discussed the salary increase at its March 19 meeting. "It includes evenings, weekends and a lot of activity, and I believe we should make a fair adjustment to the salary to keep it competitive with other towns. It's a managerial job, and it certainly should be paid that."
Board member Jamie McLaughlin provided additional information about the salaries of full-time first selectmen in Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Newtown, Ridgefield, Simsbury, Westport and Wilton. All of the full-time first selectman positions, except for Newtown, have a salary of more than $100,000.
Ten years ago, according to the Board of Finance, the first selectman's salary was decreased.
The vote to increase the selectman's salary was approved by a vote of 4-2; Martha Banks and Lorene Bora were opposed.
Bora had suggested at the March 19 meeting that the increase should be gradual, instead of one initial jump.