Letters To The Editors

Overfunding of Registrar of Voters Office

By: David Mullane

Dear Council members,

Since 2014 Stratford has been overfunding the Registrar of Voters office by paying the registrars full time pay for what is really a part time position.

This change came about when Republican council member Jim Connor proposed the increase in March, 2014:

“Compensation For Office Of Registrar Of Voters Sponsored by: Hon. James Connor, Eighth District Council Member BE IT Hereby Resolved That commencing with the fiscal year 2014-2015 and continuing until modified by the Council, the compensation for the Office of Registrar of Voters shall be as follows: Each Registrar of Voters shall receive compensation for the performance of all his/her duties.

The work week for the Registrar of voters and the assistants, shall consist of 37.5 hours per week for a total of five days, the same as the Town Employees. The hourly rate for the Registrars shall be $34.29. For the assistant the rate shall be 18.90. Additional overtime hours will be managed and handled under applicable federal and state statutes. Further benefits are appended as pages 15-18. Each Registrar of Voters shall further receive additional benefits during each fiscal year as follows: (a) two weeks paid vacation consisting of a total of 80 hours for registrars and 62 hours for assistant registrars of paid vacation: (b) ten days sick leave consisting of a total of 80 of paid sick leave for the Registrars and 64 hours for the assistant registrars of paid sick leave per fiscal year; (c) 8 hours of pay for each legal holiday, and mandatory closing i.e. snow, hurricane shutdown for which the Town Hall is closed for business; (d) health insurance coverage, if the Registrar or assistant registrar waives health insurance there will be an annual payout of 2500 dollars opting out of health care, vacation will be in accordance with __________and € One year’s annual salary Of life insurance coverage.

A Motion Was Made By Mr. Santi, Seconded By Mr. Connor To Approve The Foregoing Compensation Benefit Package. Mr. Connor Motioned To Amend, Seconded By Mr. Santi, By Inserting “Hourly” And “Federal And State” As Underscored Above And Deleting Paragraph Number 3. The Motion To Amend Carried With 9 In Favor And 1, Mr. Catalano, Opposed. The Motion To Approve The Benefit Package As Amended Carried With 9 In Favor And 1 Opposed (Mr. Catalano).

This change increased the RoV budget from $217,027 to $303,360 a 40% unnecessary cost raise.

Right next door to us in Milford they have the same size town in relation to voters and in 2014 they paid their RoV office $146,814 which is half of what we did that same year (over $150,000 in savings for the same office).

Milford’s elected Registrars are P/T employees which is just what Stratford Registrars were until Republican councilman Jim Connor’s proposal made them full time. How has this benefited the town since 2014 we have spent over $1 million more than Milford for the same service and even when our registrars were part time we still spent more than Milford.

This year Milford is proposing to spent $177,674 on RoV while Mayor Hoydick in Stratford is proposing to spend $283,531 ( over $100,000 more for the same function of government).

I wrote to the current Democrat Registrar Jim Simon about this cost and his answer was it is not necessary to spent this kind of money the position should be returned to it’s part time status.

“On January 13th the mayor’s budget team asked municipal supervisors to submit their budget requests for 2022-23. On January 29th, I recommended, in writing, that for the Registrar of Voters office, “The payroll amount be reduced to reflect the two elected Registrar positions being moved from full-time to part-time status.” On February 15th, I met with the mayor and her budget team and explained my recommendation. On March 11th, the mayor released her budget recommendation, and the two positions remain full-time. The next step is for the Town Council to conduct its budget hearings.”, Jim Simon, Registrar of Voters

In my opinion Stratford should not be spending more than Milford does on RoV and we are just wasting money to reward the Republican Registrar who is also the SRTC chairman.

While the Republican mayor proposed this wasteful spending, and the Republicans are the majority on the council and can easily pass it again for a 9th straight budget.

I hope you will spotlight this wasteful spending in Budget workshops and at Town Council meeting in the questions to the mayor portion.

Can Mayor Hoydick explain why we need to spend this money. Can Councilman Jim Connor explain why he proposed this raise in 2014. Can CAO Tymniak justify this expense? His own hometown of Fairfield, where he was also treasurer pays their RoV less than Stratford, and Fairfield has 6000 more voters than Stratford, and Fairfield registrars are part time.

Thank you for your service to our town and you consideration on this matter.

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