Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


September 12, 2013

Finance staff raises debate

Selectmen, officials at odds over hires


“We don’t want four proposals on the table,” Vispoli said.

Stapczynski ignored him and put forward his ideas for the position anyway, including creating a single position of town accountant/budget and finance director.

In the end, selectmen voted unanimously to approve Kowalski’s plan. The new town accountant/assistant finance director’s job will be advertised at a salary range of $70,000 to $80,000 a year.

Tensions flared again during discussion of Stapczynski’s goals for 2013, one of which was to develop a plan to get a handle on runaway costs for retirees’ pensions and health care.

For more than a year, selectmen have been trying to get Stapczynski to come up with a concrete plan with specific recommendations on how to deal with the increasing cost of retirees’ health insurance and pensions. Monday night, there was no such plan.

Stapczynski said the town “has an actuary working on it. The study is not done yet.”

He said he would have specifics at a special meeting Monday night with selectmen, the School Committee and Finance Committee called to go over retiree benefits.

Selectman Paul Salafia said Tuesday the debate was healthy.

“We are very, very tough on Buzz,” he said. “We expect a lot out of him.”

He added that while the debate feels “antagonistic and contrary,” the selectmen are all good friends outside of the meeting.

“You have to present opposing views and still have civilized conversation,” Salafia said.

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