FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted 2-0 on Tuesday to restore their annual salary to $12,000. The Budget Advisory Committee voted 6-3 on July 8 to reduce commissioners’ pay to $10,000.

Commission Chairman Terry Brann of Wilton and Charles Webster of Farmington voted in favor of the increase. Commissioner Clyde Barker of Strong, who has health issues, was absent. Brann said Barker was at the July 8 meeting and was not happy with the reduction.

It takes a unanimous vote by a quorum of the three-member commission to make a change.

The proposed $6.8 million budget now goes back to the budget panel for consideration of the change. It will take a vote of at least six of the nine members to override the commissioners’ change.

Prior to the commissioners’ vote on the budget Tuesday, Webster said that when Jay lost valuation because of the downsizing of the paper mill, which meant less taxes coming in from Jay to the county, commissioners discussed a lower salary.

This budget process has become political, he said.

“I am frustrated by the whole process,” he said.

The changes made by commissioners over the past four years have saved the county $800,000 to $1 million, Webster said.

Five members of the budget panel had emails that were sent out June 21 by committee member Tiffany Maiuri, a selectperson in Wilton who is a candidate for commissioner for District 1. The district includes Wilton, Jay, Carthage and Temple. The emails discussed possible changes to reach a consensus of the committee members regarding the commissioners department budget. The emails were addressed to one member at a time but were circulated between five members. There was also a spreadsheet tool that showed where possible changes could be made.

The Budget Committee had taken a preliminary vote in June to lower the commissioners’ annual pay to $6,000.

Maiuri previously said it was not her intent to circumvent the public meeting process. It was an attempt to reach common ground that would pass muster with a majority of the budget panel.


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