The current version of the 2013-14 budget reflects the merger, and a Town Meeting vote supporting article four — the budget — would put the decision forward, he said.
“The budget is the perfect vehicle to have a discussion on this kind of a consolidation,” Stapczynski said.
But Selectman Mary Lyman argues the money for the proposed director position could be spent on other priorities.
“We’re $2.2 million apart from the schools [in the current budget process], and we don’t have to do it. These departments are functioning,” she said. “It just doesn’t make sense.”
Joanne Marden, a Finance Committee member, offered her own solution.
“I think you have two very well-functioning departments, and to add another layer on top... If I was going to add to these departments, I’d add to the bottom, whether it’s additional money for outsourcing to get more work done, or it’s additional people to do the work — not a super-management person at the top,” she said. “If [the departments] are challenged, it’s for a lack of resources — not lack of management.”
The savings in the plan would be realized in turning two full-time director positions into one, according to Stapczynski.
“Under the old model, you’d have two people (the directors) paid $110,000 [to] $115,000,” he said. “Now what I’m suggesting is you have one person paid $110,000 [to] $115,000.”
Town Meeting is slated to begin Monday, May 6 at the Andover High School field house.