Weathersfield Proctor Library Budget FY 2019 Preview

EDITORIAL-Nancy Nutile-McMenemy, former member of the Library Board of Trustees.


The Weathersfield Proctor library budget is up 14%. This is not an article to be voted on at town meeting, it is included in the overall town budget.

In the past, the library budget was prepared by the library director and the board of trustees. This year, town manager Ed Morris came to the library trustees meeting in December with a budget. This budget included a 32.9% wage increase for the library director.

It was conveyed to the trustees by the town manager that the library director, Mark Richardson, wanted the increased explained without emotion. It was later revealed to the full board of trustees that the town manager, the library director and the chair of the trustees, Rick Bates, had been discussing the increase without the knowledge of the full board of trustees.

After a couple of special meetings and one regular trustee meeting, where a clean copy of the FY 2019 budget were requested and not provided to the full board of trustees, the board met on Jan. 14 to finalize the library budget. 

A motion was made to approve FY 2019 budget of $128, 448 of which $126, 648 will be raised by taxes. The motion carried with one no vote-mine. 

With little or no discussion the library director salary was increased for FY 2019 from $34,207 to $45,478 a 32.9% in a year where inflation is running just under 2%. My objections to the increased salary for the library director are documented in the minutes of the Jan 14 meeting online

At the time the budget was presented to the trustees by the town manager Morris offered that the library director's increase in hours and wages could be offset by helping the town manager out with various tasks (writing a town newsletter, working on the town's Recreation and Parks commission and other things promoting the town and the library.) These tasks were never defined in an updated  job description and still the increase was approved.

In the select board Feb. 5 meeting packet , pages 13-14,  there is documentation of a discussion with the select board and the town manager attempting to explain why the town manager presented a budget to the library trustees.

These minutes say that the library director, Mark Richardson, approached the town manager about a salary increase. (Why the library director went to the town manager to discuss his salary when he is supervised by the Board of Trustees is still confusing to me.)

Library director Richardson told the town manager Morris, according to the town manager's statement in these minutes, that he, the library director, was hired with an agreement that he would work two years at a lower rate but could not work for under $45,000 after the two years. I've been on the board for ten years and was secretary for a number of years, I do not recall seeing this document/agreement with the library director and the board of trustees.

The job offered to Richardson on September 17, 2015 was at a rate of $19.50 for a 32 hour work week. There was no mention of increasing this to 40 hours and $45,000 annually after two years employment. In addition, he was offered a generous benefits package which includes 100% coverage for health, dental and eye care and a retirement account. All of these lines items are also increasing for FY 2019.

Again, in these minutes with the select board (see above), the town manager said he discussed this increase with the trustee chair, Rick Bates. At Chair Bates's request the town manager was asked to attend the trustee meeting on Dec. 11, 2017. All these conversations were going on without the full board's knowledge.

Now after watching the SAPA-TV informational video discussing the town, school and library budgets (you can view it online or on your television-SAPA-TV publishes their schedule daily) I have to wonder if the Trustees are finding reasons to explain the 32.9% increase in the library director wage line item. (Please view minutes 20-34 of the SAPA-TV video.)

I was so uncomfortable by this year's budget process that I resigned from the board. Granted my term was up but I could not in good conscience sit before the town and explain the FY 2019 library budget to the taxpayers of Weathersfield.

Town Meeting is just around the corner, ask questions, get information and make informed decisions about the town's budgets. Minutes of the library board of trustee meetings can be found HERE.

Annual School Town Meeting
Saturday, March 3 10:00 a.m.

Annual Town Meeting
Saturday, March 3 12:30 p.m.
Both at Weathersfield School, Ascutney 

Town Voting by Australian Ballot
Tuesday, March 6 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Martin Memorial Hall, Ascutney


The warning for the annual town meeting  can be found on the town's website. The meeting is Saturday March, 3 12:30 p.m. followed by Australian balloting March 6 10 a.m.-7 p.m. at Martin Memorial Hall. 


If all appropriations for both the town and school are approved, the estimated combined homestead and municipal tax increase of 14.6 cents per $100 of assessed valuation would increase property taxes on a $200,000 home by $292 to $4,716.

Town Warning 2018


Town Audit The town manager said the full report WILL NOT be printed in the Annual Town Report. It is available ONLINE and at the town office for your review.



Last year's voting results:

Article 8: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield approve the expenditure of $ 1,479,112 for the support and operation of the Town’s General Fund? $ 1,071,510 shall be raised by property taxation, allowing the Select Board to set the appropriate tax rate.

Yes: 265
No: 220

Article 9: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield approve the expenditure of $ 1,060,460 for the support and operation of the Town’s Highway Fund? $ 857,813 shall be raised by property taxation, allowing the Select Board to set the appropriate tax rate.

Yes: 300
No: 128

Article 10: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield approve the expenditure of $293,760 for the support and operation of the Town’s Solid Waste Management Facility? These monies shall be raised by non-tax revenues.

Yes: 354
No: 128

Article 11: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield authorize the Select Board to borrow funds not to exceed $170,000 for a period not to exceed five years for the purpose of purchasing a truck/snowplow for the maintenance of Town highways? The new truck will replace a 1996 Mack truck/snowplow with 146,000 miles on it, as a frontline truck/snowplow. The 1996 Mack will be placed in reserve status. [Not in Budget]

Yes: 275
No: 206

Article 12: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield appropriate the sum of $30,000, to be deposited into the Highway Equipment Reserve Fund? [Not in Budget]

Yes: 236
No: 242

Article 13: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield appropriate the sum of $7,000 to be deposited into the Police Cruiser Reserve Fund? [Not in Budget]

Yes: 214
No: 262

Article 14: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield appropriate the sum of $30,000, to be deposited into the Fire Equipment Motorized Reserve Fund? [Not in Budget]

Yes: 234
No: 239

Article 15: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield authorize the Select Board to borrow funds not to exceed $30,000, for a period not to exceed three years, to construct a handicapped accessible ramp at the 1879 Schoolhouse? [Not in Budget]

Yes: 168
No: 305

Article 16: Shall the voters of the Town of Weathersfield appropriate the sum of $500 to support a new Weathersfield Directory? [Not in Budget]

Yes: 183
No: 291

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