Selectmen up Brennan’s pay

In executive session Monday night, Dec. 2, the town’s selectmen voted to increase First Selectman Bill Brennan’s pay by 2.5%, said Selectman Ted Hoffstatter by email Tuesday morning.

Mr. Brennan’s salary has been increased from $129,500 to $132,738, according to Sarah Taffel, director of Wilton’s human resources department.

Mr. Brennan did not take part in the negotiations.

Voting in favor of the pay increase were Selectmen Hal Clark, Dick Dubow, and Jim Saxe.

Ms. Taffel said on Tuesday that although there is a common belief elected officials “do not work the same hectic schedule” as those in the private sector, that is not true for Mr. Brennan’s position.

“This is definetly more than a full-time working position. We have no town manager, so the first selectman has an intensely demanding position. It’s not just about going to public events,” she said.

In April 2013, Darien’s Board of Finance raised their first selectman’s salary  from $80,000 to $115,000. Unlike Wilton, Darien has a full-time town manager.

There is no full-time town manager in Ridgefield, where First Selectman Rudy Marconi is paid $113,329 per year. Neither is there one in New Canaan, where the first selectman, Rob Mallozzi, makes $125,333 per year.

The lone dissenting member of the board, Mr. Hoffstatter said Tuesday morning his vote against a pay increase was no reflection on Mr. Brennan’s performance as Wilton’s chief executive.

“Bill Brennan works hard for Wilton, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for him; my vote against a pay increase for the first selectman is in no way a reflection on him whatsoever. Bill is not just a fellow board member, but a friend who has served our town well,” he said.

He continued to say his vote was one made in regard to budget concerns.

Holding salaries “at the top,” he said, would “put us in the strongest position to push for a lean budget moving forward, with all of the stakeholders in mind.”