Upon the recommendation of the Non-union Compensation Committee, the Legislative Council agreed Monday to increase the salaries of the mayor and the town clerk in order to bring their salaries more in line with those of similar communities.
The council took the action now in order for it to go into effect after the election. The committee will continue to study the salaries of non-union employees, including department heads, and bring recommendations to the council for adjustment.
"The committee is reviewing the salary structure of anyone in town government in a non-union position," council president Jim Pascarella said. "They will continue to meet with the goal to present the council with a salary structure that is fair compared to other municipalities."
Under the salary scheduled approved Monday, the position of mayor, which now pays $90,176, will rise to $95,000 on Jan. 1, and the Town Clerk's job, which now pays $68,623, will go up to $75,000.
The committee used as a basis a Connecticut Conference of Municipalities salary survey that determined that the average salary for the position of mayor for a municipality the size of Hamden is $102,519 and for a town clerk, $74,384.
Each of the town's Registrar of Voter's will see their stipend increase from $15,375 to $18,000. In all, the salary increases will impact the budget an additional $7,724, with the balance transferred from other sources.
"This is strictly a matter of fairness," Pascarella said. "We have enormous sympathy for the taxpayers but we have to be fair to the officials.
The CCM survey broke municipalities into four categories: those below 20,000 populations; 20,000 to 40,000 populations; 40,000 to 60,000 populations and more than 60,000.
The results found that Hamden's positions paid less than municipalities with much lower populations, Pascarella said.
"We discovered in our analysis that compared to other towns, we are below average in our salaries," he said. Most towns the size of Hamden, which has a population of just over 60,000, pay their mayors well over $100,000, he said.
The committee will also be making recommendations for salary adjustments for department heads, Pascarella said, some of whom earn less money than the people who work for them and are eligible to earn overtime.