Carman explains why initial treasurer plans changed

Dean CarmanDean Carman

Selectmen support unique reorganization setup

UPDATED, April 4: Under an unprecedented structure for the town treasurer's office, Dean Carman would be paid an estimated $50,000 a year, working about 20 hours a week while having a full-time professional handle day-to-day duties.

Board of Selectmen logo, Jan. 23, 2013

The planned changes -- voted unanimously by selectmen on Monday, April 3 -- have shifted from Carman's description in January, when he announced he was seeking election to treasurer in the light of Stephen Gilligan's retirement. The new plan would save the town money, Carman says.

If elected, he wrote then, he planned to limit his efforts to policy matters, using the treasurer's salary to hire a full-time manager of the department. He did not discuss his pay at the time. Under any plan, Carman would continue working as vice president and corporate controller for Bertucci's, the Massachusetts-based restaurant chain. At the time, he estimated the treasurer's annual salary at $105,000.

Since then, following extensive talks with officials, including Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine, Carman has revised his plan. Information included in the selectmen's April 3 packet and comments from Carmen spell it out.  

Carman wrote March 30: "When I originally announced my candidacy for treasurer I did so on a plan to work with the town manager to identify a full-time professional to run the day to day office, fund it through the treasurer's existing salary and limit my efforts to policy matters."

Morse gets a boost

That professional is Michael Morse, current deputy treasurer/collector, and Carman has endorsed the selection by Chapdelaine.

In January, he told YourArlington, which first reported the matter, that the annual salary of full-time treasurer was $105,000, but he later learned that it's closer to $130,000 annually.

"After extensive discussions with the town manager," he wrote, "we've decided to fill the full-time position internally, which means if we do nothing further, the department will be down a full-time person effective April 3."

The department is about to launch accounting software from Munis, so a sharp decrease in staffing is not advised at such a critical time, he wrote.

"We are also expecting that the new Munis system will generate efficiency when fully operational," he wrote, "so I don't want to add an FTE [full-time equivalent] below the internal person who will be running the day-to-day operation, only to terminate their employment a year later when they become redundant."

Alteration of plan detailed

He explains how he approaches this issue:

"To alleviate this issue, I'm going to step in and spend more time on treasury matters than I originally expected (cash, investment and debt). This will allow the team to spend more time on day-to-day matters, which includes launching the new Munis collections module. Since I'll be working a lot more than expected, I've set an upward salary threshold for myself of $50,000 annually, which I base on 20 hours per week.

"Annualized, this would be $94,000 per year, less than the treasurer's current $130,000 per year salary."

He wrote that he has communicated to Caryn Molloy, town human-resources director, that he plans to review his compensation at least quarterly and adjust it downward as his required effort in the office becomes less.

"Long-term, I want my salary slot to be the FTE reduction when the department becomes more efficient through the new Munis system," he wrote.

Savings of $57,000 foreseen

Carman wrote that the current savings is expected to generate $57,000 per year, even after other personnel adjustments that will be necessary because of increased responsibility.

He hopes that the overall level of savings will increase as he decreases his time and effort in the office at Town Hall.

"I've tasked the deputy town treasurer with evaluating the department and making a recommendation on how he would like to structure people and personnel under his day-to-day leadership," he wrote. That recommendation will be reviewed by Deputy Town Manager Sandy Pooler and Director of HR Caryn Malloy and Carman. 

A chart Carman provided lists the dollar figures outling the proposed changes. See that chart here >> 

To understand the chart, note that WOC stands for "working out of class (grade)," when an employee is performing a job above his pay grade.

Explaining the chart

In summary, here's how the attached sheet works (left to right): 

The first column is the budgeted compensation for the treasurer and deputy treasurer in fiscal 2017, which is scheduled to end June 30, 2017.

The second column is the budgeted compensation for the treasurer and deputy treasurer in fiscal 2018, set to begin on July 1,2017.

Under the proposed plan, the deputy treasurer would serve as an M2 job-grade department head, which is what the treasurer would be if not elected. Other M2 job grades include the comptroller, library director, director of inspectional services, chief technology officer and director of planning and development.

Columns three to five show the potential range of the M2 job grade per the pay and classification table. The chart shows the beginning, middle and end of the M2 job grade. This and other points continue to be negotiated with the union representing the deputy treasurer, SEIU.

Note: The management schedule has three levels: M1, M2, M3. The treasurer, clerk and town manager are not on the M schedule, but all other department heads are.

Carman won election to the office held since 2006 by Stephen Gilligan, who has retired after lengthy town service on many boards. Gilligan took office following the retirement of John Bilafer, town treasurer since 1972.

Selectmen move forward with plan

At the April 3 meeting, selectmen supported the plan Carmen presented, 5-0. The only caution, raised by Diane Mahon, added a contingency to the vote -- that the agreement would follow the working out of last-minute details of negotiations with the union, SIEU.

Selectman Dan Dunn said he was "really happy to see" Carman talking to all parties involved before the election, and he moved to endorse.

Colleague Steve Byrne called Morse a "great choice" for the day-to-day manager. He said he "likes the continuity."

"I feel you’re brilliant in the way you’ve handled this," Kevin Greeley told Carman.

Curro said he will appreciate the "more frequent check-ins with selectmen."

In winning election April 1, Carman becomes the second in his family to become a treasurer. His father, Floyd, holds that position in Belmont.

Deputy Manager Sandy Pooler was present April 3 in place of Chapdelaine, whose wife had given birth that day. Roger Phillip joins his sister Pearl in Chapdelaine family.


 News stories

March 26, 2017: Carman sketches plan to reshape town treasurer's office
March 25, 2017: No opposition? No matter -- candidates explain where they stand
Jan. 11, 2017: Fincom member eyes treasurer seat, new role for office
Jan. 10, 2017: After treasurer announces retirement, town officials look ahead

This news summary was published Sunday, April 2, and updated April 4, to add detail from the selectmen's meeting.