WOODBURY — First Selectman Barbara Perkinson announced she will rescind a previously proposed 3% pay raise for eight department heads during the Board of Selectmen meeting on Thursday, April 22.

Ms. Perkinson read a letter from three of the eight department heads, saying that while they were thankful for the appreciation given for their efforts, that appreciation had created animosity among employees. That sentiment had left them uncomfortable accepting the extra 0.5% raise, they wrote.

Selectman George Hale read into the record a letter sent to selectmen by representatives of two of the town’s unions, also in opposition to the extra money for non-union employees.

The letter noted that union employees pay in$400 to $500 in union dues and non-union employees already reap the benefit of union bargaining efforts without financially supporting the union. The letter from the unions also raised issue of the granting of a higher-than-advertised salary for a position recently filled by a town employee transferring from one position to another.

In announcing her decision to rescind the 0.5% additional raise for the non-union employees, Ms. Perkinson explained her reasoning that these employees had truly gone above and beyond anything that could be expect of them, but agreed the situation had raised a lot of talk among employees and “much strife.” She concluded by saying that she wished to thank all employees for “a job well done” in the past year during the pandemic.

In other action, the board agreed to waive the bid process and accept a bid of $19,919.13 for a Polaris Ranger off-road vehicle to replace the fire department’s Gator.

Fire Chief Janet Morgan explained the department had concluded the Ranger would better serve the town’s needs than the current Gator, which was built more for even surface travel. More residents were using walking trails and getting deeper into the woods than previously, and the Ranger is built for traveling on uneven ground and is higher off the ground surface than the Gator is, making it more suitable for deep woods rescue efforts.

Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Thomas Amatruda telephoned into the meeting to request that selectmen consider signing on as a town to a protest against Senate Bill 1024.

Mr. Amatruda said that while the senate has removed the most controversial part of the bill, which would have allowed multi-family homes within a quarter mile of state roads, the bill still seeks to overturn local zoning in favor of one-size-fits-all housing diversity rules. He offered to draft a letter for the selectmen’s review at the next meeting.

In response to a communication regarding sidewalks and traffic speed on certain roads, Ms. Perkinson said she has been in contact with the state Department of Transportation regarding the possible installation of road grooves on four town roads where speeding and crossing the center line have been issues.

The road grooves remind motorists to remain in their travel lane while driving.

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