To better mirror nearby towns, Wendell town coordinator seeks $52K salary

GLENN JOHNSON-MUSSAD

GLENN JOHNSON-MUSSAD

By DOMENIC POLI

Staff Writer

Published: 03-22-2024 1:04 PM

WENDELL — The town coordinator has proposed a salary increase he says would better mirror the pay of leadership positions in towns similar in size to Wendell, and the Selectboard wants the Finance Committee to examine the matter further.

Glenn Johnson-Mussad attended this week’s Selectboard meeting virtually and presented members with figures the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) compiled regarding salaries of town administrators and coordinators.

“On this scale, Wendell has the lowest hourly wage for a town coordinator by a substantial amount, if my math is right,” he said, explaining that he works 28 hours a week at $25, making $36,520 per year.

The next lowest in FRCOG’s data is $60,060 for Leyden’s municipal assistant.

Johnson-Mussad, who became town coordinator in January 2022, said he averaged the hourly wage from towns comparable to Wendell and arrived at $34. That, in addition to a 4.5% cost-of-living adjustment, is what he is proposing for fiscal year 2025. That makes for a $51,731.68 salary.

“Obviously it’s a giant jump, but I thought that it’d be a good place to start,” he told Selectboard Chair Laurie DiDonato, Vice Chair Gillian Budine and member Paul Doud.

Johnson-Mussad mentioned New Salem is the only comparable town with fewer hours per week. Town Coordinator Kathy Neal reportedly works 24 hours a week at $34 an hour, for $42,268 per year.

The highest salary in FRCOG’s data, $124,233, is in Montague, followed by Northfield, at $115,670.

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“One lens I’d like you to look at this through is the difficulty I know you had attracting a town coordinator, and what would happen if I left and you had to fill the position again,” Johnson-Mussad told the Selectboard.

He was hired to replace Alisha Brouillet, who served as town coordinator for four months before stepping down due to personal reasons. Brouillet replaced Nancy Aldrich, who worked as the town coordinator of Wendell and neighboring New Salem.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-930-4120.