NASHUA — Before the budget panel adopted its recommended city budget for 2014 on Wednesday, the mayor was asked to explain various staff positions within her own office.
Alderman-at-Large David Deane said he was not implying the mayor's staff was unnecessary but rather wanted a detailed description of their numerous job duties.
"I just want an understanding of what goes on in there, that is all," Deane said during the Budget Review Committee meeting.
Mayor Donnalee Lozeau said each of the full- and part-time employees who work in the mayor's office have a vital role to play.
"There isn't anybody in my office that doesn't have something to do, Alderman Deane. I think you know that," Lozeau said in response to the questions. "I do not have anybody with time to burn."
Lozeau's staff includes an executive secretary, citizen services director, secretary receptionist, resource coordinator and a job-share communication director position.
Including her own salary, which is recommended at $110,000 for the next fiscal year, the combined salary wages for her staff will be nearly $304,000 if approved as recommended in the proposed budget.
Lozeau's executive secretary, who basically serves as an administrative assistant, earns $45,600 a year. This individual manages the mayor's internal calendar, sets up appointments for her at City Hall, returns phone calls and handles legislative information for meetings, among other duties, said Lozeau.
The communication director manages proclamations, resolutions, letters, press calls, interviews with volunteers, correspondence to boards and outside events attended by the mayor.
"I think, to date, I've had over 300 events that I've attended off site," Lozeau said, adding that all of the scheduling is handled by the communication director.
The single communication director role is actually filled by two individuals who each work part time. "It has worked out beautifully," Lozeau said.
The mayor's secretary receptionist, who recently took a different position in the lower level of City Hall, was making about $28,400 a year. That person is responsible for answering incoming calls, handling the mayor's office email, managing files and other duties, said Lozeau.
After listening to descriptions of the various staff members in the mayor's office, the committee on Wednesday made its final recommendation on the proposed budget.
With three votes in opposition, the board approved a $236,009,508 budget, which is about $38,550 less than the mayor’s originally proposed spending plan. It is also about $381,670 below the city’s spending cap.
Deane, along with Alderman-at-Large Jim Donchess and Alderman-at-Large Mark Cookson voted against the recommended budget.