Tesoro seeks pay cut

First Selectman Vicki Tesoro
First Selectman Vicki Tesoro

First Selectman Vicki Tesoro is asking the Town Council to change her salary so she will get paid less. Tesoro seeks a repeal of the council’s 2015 salary ordinance that included a 20% raise for the first selectman over five years.

“I believe in keeping my campaign promises,” she said. “Actions speak louder than words. I said I would ask for the repeal and that is what I am doing.”

Three years ago, the Town Council passed the salary ordinance, making salary increases mandatory for the first selectman.  Council Chairman Marybeth Thornton said the ordinance, which was passed without Board of Finance review and separately from the normal budget process, should never have been passed.

“This repeal puts the salary decisions back where they belong, in the normal budget process where all opinions can be heard,” Thornton said.

Tesoro said passing the pay hike separately from the budget, with its associated public hearings and comments, reduced public participation.

“I believe that more, not less, public participation should always be our goal,” Tesoro said. “We cannot justify arbitrary pay increases for politicians. We should not be taxing our citizens at ever-increasing rates and we must follow the budget process in our Town Charter. We should be working together to ensure that any increases in spending are reasonable and sustainable.”