Dublin’s town administrator assistant resigns

  • The desk for Dublin's assistant to the town administrator will be empty by the week’s end, as Janice Pack has resigned.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, April 09, 2018 5:52PM

Dublin’s assistant to the town administrator has resigned in the wake of her position reverting back to part-time after a Town Meeting vote.

Janice Pack had been working 30 hours a week and receiving benefits since Jan. 1 – per a Nov. 6, 2017 vote of the selectmen – but the position reverted back to 28 hours a week without benefits after voters at Town Meeting did not approve of adding $11,037 to the budget committee’s recommended operating budget to support the position’s increase. 

Pack, in a statement Monday morning, said she was leaving her job as she felt that the budget committee did not support and recognize the need for more hours and benefits. 

“Because the selectmen did approve that increase last year I had been receiving health insurance benefits since January… but everything was taken away after Town Meeting,” said Pack, in a statement Monday morning. “Because I feel that health insurance is important and necessary, I’m forced to leave a job I really love.

Pack said her last day is Thursday, although she has offered to help Town Administrator Sherry Miller after hours to help during the transition, as “the job is way too much for any one person to do.”

Charlie Champagne, chair of the budget committee, said Monday that the committee had listened to the select board’s justification for the increase throughout the budget process and determined there was no reason to increase the position by two hours per week. The budget committee’s recommended operating budget is voted on at Town Meeting, not the selectmen’s.

“[The select board] unfortunately went ahead and implemented the change,” said Champagne. “They should’ve waited until after Town Meeting… consequently they had to roll back [on the decision.]”

Champagne said that prior to Pack’s hiring about a year ago, the position had only been for 16 hours a week. 

Miller said last week that the town has received a few job applications for the position, but there would be a gap between Pack and a new hire as Miller is on vacation this week. 

“I’m disappointed… I’m not sure the town fully understood why this increase is needed,” said Miller. “I’m good, but I’m not that good.”

Miller said there will be an effort in the next budget to make the position full time. Much of the financial increase – $9,720 of the additional $11,037 – is due to health benefits that are required to be offered after a town employee works more at least 30 hours a week.

In meetings and hearing leading up to Town Meeting, members of the select board said the increase in hours was needed as Miller has seen an increase in responsibilities over the years and needs more administrative help. 

“The need is there, you can’t deny that,” said Miller. 

The selectmen acknowledged during their March 12 meeting that they made an error in approving the position’s hours increase prior to Town Meeting and agreed to forgo their salary as selectmen to make up the budget shortfall from three months of insurance coverage and additional hours works, according to meeting minutes. 

Select board chair Peter “Sturdy” Thomas could not be reached on Monday for comment. 

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.