Non-union employees of town of Gilford likely to see pay raises

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

GILFORD — It looks like two of the three selectmen will support some kind of change to the town's non-union pay scale to accommodate those employees who have reached their maximum earning power under the current one.

Selectmen Chan Eddy and Richard "Rags" Grenier said Wednesday that after giving the options of either changing the wage scale or giving longevity bonuses, they are now leaning toward a new pay scale.

"If the board approves it today," said Town Administrator Scott Dunn, "It will cost $6,296 (for the year.)"

Dunn said the non-union pay scale was developed in 2009 and is not indexed to anything like the cost of living. The proposed scale is also not indexed and will still have 13 "steps," but is recalculated to last for 20 years if an employee earns an average of a 2.5 percent merit increase each year.

Eddy and Grenier briefly discussed the possibility that if the town goes with a new scale, as opposed to nothing or longevity pay, then it should be pegged to inflation using a standard measure like the national consumer price index.

The reality today is that four non-union employees have reached the top of their earning potential and next year seven more will reach it as well said Dunn.

"By Dec. 31, 2017, we'll have 17 (employees who can no longer get raises), said Dunn, who noted last week there is some effect on moral when employees realize they'll never get another raise.

He said it would be two to four years before the same employees reached the top of the proposed scale and after that, the town could implement some kind of longevity plan.

Selectman Gus Benavides was unable to be at Wednesday's meeting, but has previously said that he likely would not support any changes to the pay plan. Because of Benavides' unintended absence, Eddy and Grenier decided to wait until he returns for the next meeting before making any decisions or furthering the discussion.

Have your say on changes to Lakes Avenue

LACONIA — City officials are hosting a public meeting Thursday, May 12, to provide information and answer questions about the reconstruction of Lakeside Avenue, which is scheduled to begin this fall.

The meeting will be held at the Weirs Community Center beginning at 7 p.m. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m., when representatives of the Department of Public Works, Laconia Water Works and Parks and Recreation Department will be on hand to discuss the project. There will also be displays depicting the scope and design of the improvements and enhancements to be undertaken.

As outlined in the 2016-2017 city budget, the project will include reconstruction of 2,200 feet of Lakeside Avenue, together with improvements to the water, sewer and drainage systems. In addition, information about the prospect of burying the overhead utilities will be presented at the meeting.

– Michael Kitch

Police continue search for missing Laconia man

05-13 David Demers

LACONIA – Police continue their search for David Demers, who was last seen three days ago after he left his home on Jewett Street and headed to the Laconia Spa on Church Street.

Detective Sgt. Kevin Butler said Thursday that he has heard third-hand from some of Demers' friends that he may be in the Manchester area and said he has notified Manchester Police.

Demers is 26 years old, is 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs about 160 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black Monster energy drink sweatshirt, a black T-shirt, black jeans and work boots.

Police said he has been entered into the National Crime Information Center as a missing person.

Anyone with any information about Demers' whereabouts is asked to call the Laconia Police Department at 524-5252.

– Gail Ober