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Four Tilton administrators offered five-year contracts

July 29, 2009
TILTON — Four of Tilton's top administrators will negotiate five-year contracts with the town, the Board of Selectmen decided last week.

The suggestion came from Selectman Pat Consentino, who originally advocated just for Tim Pearson, the town's finance manager.

"In the best interest of Tilton, I think that we should make some type of provision that we keep our finance manager in tact, i.e. a five-year contract," Consentino said.

The makeup of the Board of Selectmen is constantly subject to change, she said, which means that without a contract, Pearson could be let go by a different board that may not see his value. She referred to "damage" that was done to the town's finances in the past "with people coming and going."

"If we leave, we know that we're leaving Tilton in good hands as far as the finances are concerned," Consentino said.

Pearson has been the finance manager for less than a year; the position was actually created when he was still serving as a selectman himself. He stepped down from the board when he was hired, and Consentino said the move has "proven well worth it. She noted that he's already saved the town thousands of dollars.

"It's a good idea," Selectman David Wadleigh agreed.

With Pearson in attendance, board Chair Katherine Dawson asked him whether he'd be interested in signing a contract.

"I'd be happy to talk about it," Pearson said.

Dawson then asked whether they should extend a contract offer to Town Administrator Joyce Fulweiler as well.

"We have two outstanding people that we do not want to lose," Selectman Norm Boudreau agreed. "They're both in jeopardy (as at-will employees)."

"I would love to stay on," Fulweiler said.

The selectmen then realized the town has two other at-will employees they don't want to lose – Police Chief Robert Cormier and Highway Department Director Dennis Allen. Cormier, who was in attendance, said he would be "delighted" to enter into contract negotiations.

Consentino said that later in the evening, Allen came to the meeting for a department briefing and said he too would be happy to negotiate a five-year contract with the town.

"None of these people – they can't retire, they can't die, they can't get sick," Boudreau joked.

Dawson said that the Local Government Center would be a good resource for helping them formulate the contracts.

"It's a good step forward," Dawson said.

Consentino said Monday that although all four employees have agreed to enter into contract negotiations, numbers haven't yet been discussed.

Varney Smith
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