City Council halts proposal to increase senior assessor hours


City Council halts proposal to increase senior assessor hours
A proposal to increase the senior assessor’s hours will before the City Council on Monday. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

MARLBOROUGH – A proposal on whether to increase the hours of the city’s senior assessor from 35 to 40 hours will return to the City Council after it was halted.

During its meeting on March 25, council members discussed the proposal, which had been approved by the Finance Committee 4-1.

When it came time for a vote, Council President Michael Ossing moved to suspend the first reading and adopt. Seven councilors approved – one short of what was needed for passage.

Following a brief recess, Councilor Sean Navin recommended a motion to reconsider, which was approved.

The proposal will be part of the City Council’s next agenda on Monday, April 8. Eight votes will still be required to carry the proposal.

Should it be approved, the extra hours would be used toward more field inspections, according to Principal Assessor John Valade. The proposal also called for a transfer of $3,653 to cover the salary increase for the remainder of fiscal 2024.

The main issue was increasing the hours for one position while other 35-hour-per-week positions remain untouched.

“This is a poor precedent,” said Councilor Teona Brown. “We need to take a look at the whole picture.”

Councilor Mark Oram said he’s been waiting on the city’s Human Resources Department to conduct a salary survey.

“I hope this is the spark that gets HR going,” he said.

Councilor Kathleen Robey agreed that a salary survey should be undertaken.

“This could be a conversation that the council has,” she said.

Ossing pointed out that the proposal was the result of a signed agreement between the city and the union, and that it should be supported.

During the Finance Committee meeting earlier this month, there was discussion about a $200,000 fund with the assessors office used for outside contractors. The committee was told that should the extra hours be approved, this budget would be reduced.

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