The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 7, 2004


FinCom moves to avoid potential pension, benefits disputes

Chair Lisa Jensen-Fellows and member Deb Belanger of the Finance Committee (FinCom) appeared before the Board of Selectmen on April 27 to alert them to a possible financial issue that surfaced in the town of Stoneham.

Stoneham recently became enmeshed in a financial dispute over the Moderator's salary, benefits, and pension. Although the Moderator only received a nominal salary, as in Carlisle, he claimed that his position as an elected official — and therefore considered a full-time employee — entitled him to a pension and lifelong health benefits in retirement. The FinCom is concerned that, without a formal policy, Carlisle is similarly exposed.

The positions of Moderator and Assessor currently receive honorarium salaries, as voted in Article 2 of the Town Meeting Warrant. It is not clear whether these salaries make the individuals serving in these positions eligible to receive benefits from the town. Individuals presently serving in these positions recognize that their salaries are a way for the town to express appreciation for their efforts and are not meant to provide living wages. However, there is the possibility that someone will test this assumption in the future. Jensen-Fellows would like to see Carlisle clarify their regulations on pension and benefits eligibility. The Selectmen agreed and Chair Tim Hult will refer the issue to the town Personnel Board.

2004 The Carlisle Mosquito