FARMINGTON — Members of the Board of Selectmen are considering creating an employment contract for the first time for Town Manager Richard Davis.
Davis has never had a contract with the town, either to specify his work responsibilities or set his financial compensation. The town manager’s duties are governed by state statute and a detailed local job description.
The salary for the position is recommended by the budget committee and selectmen, subject to approval by voters at the annual town meeting. Davis, who has worked for the town for 12 years, is also evaluated by the board each year in early fall in a closed door session.
The proposal for a formal contract was initially mentioned at a select board meeting May 13 by Selectman Josh Bell, and Chairman Ryan Morgan said he expects the board to take the discussion back up at a later meeting.
Bell mentioned the contract proposal during the “other business” portion of the meeting, at the end of the regular meeting, after the press and public had left. Traditionally, the other business portion of the agenda is used to consider last-minute and small matters.
However, the discussion of a contract for the manager prompted Selectman Stephan Bunker to ask that the board discuss the use of the other business agenda item at the 6:30 p.m. board meeting Tuesday Bunker wants a discussion of what is appropriate to bring up as other business.
At board meetings, the agenda includes specific items, that change each week, and also traditionally includes the other business agenda item as well, with no individual topics listed under that category.
The agenda is posted online for the public to read before the biweekly business meetings and are sent to local news agencies.
In an interview, Bunker said that following last Tuesday’s meeting, he asked for creation of a process for what is listed on the agenda and what can be brought up under other business.
By having the items on the agenda, he said the public is able to know ahead of time what the board will be discussing and can decide if they want to attend the meeting or weigh in on the issues.
“It is just for my colleagues and I to clarify which questions are most appropriate for other business,” he said.
He said it is too early in the discussion to have an opinion about whether to create a contract for Davis, and his concern was about announcing as much about the board meeting topics in advance.
Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252 | firstname.lastname@example.org