Simsbury’s longtime first selectman Mary Glassman announced her resignation Monday afternoon, about a week after the town’s Board of Selectmen voted to cut her pay next summer.
“It’s personal and political,” Glassman said, after reading a brief statement Monday. “No question.”
The board cut the salary of the first selectman from $113,000 to $75,000.
Glassman was approaching her 16th year of public service.
Town selectmen said the recommendation to reduce the Glassman's salary had to do with the fact that several of the first selectman's responsibilities have now been designated to new positions.
“When you change somebody’s job, the salary should change,” said Republican selectman Mike Paine, who voted to cut Glassman’s compensation.
The cuts also affect Glassman’s pension plan with the town. Glassman said she chose to resign in order to protect her pension and said she didn’t know how the new plan would affect her.
She presented the agenda item to the Simsbury Board of Selectmen last week. Under her proposal, the salary and benefit adjustments would have taken effect Dec. 7, 2015, rather than July 1, which is what the board approved.
“I was working to transition the town to professional town management and this is the thanks I get,” Glassman said.
Over the past year, Simsbury has hired several new high-wage town management positions including a director of Public Works, a risk management position and an insurance consultant, according to Paine.
Board members initially said they weren’t sure how the additional $38,000 would be spent, but later said it would be used to supplement some of the new salaried positions.
Some of the politics of which Glassman accused the board had to do with Nancy Haase, a town selectman who lost a bid for First Selectman against Glassman. Haase denied the claims and said if her vote on Glassman’s salary costs her a seat on the board, so be it.
“There are many great things that have been done and we’re extremely proud to be a part of those things and we’re really looking forward to whoever serves in this position next to serve alongside them,” Haase said.
The town charter requires the board to choose a Democrat to fill the outgoing first selectman's term. Glassman said she would help with a transition.
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