MANCHESTER, N.H. – Two ordinances got a look at the Board of Mayor and Aldermen Committee on Bills on Second Reading on Monday night as the last few days dwindle down on the current Aldermanic term.
The committee moved to table a recommendation on amending a city ordinance that would give more leeway to city department heads on hiring low-level employees.
According to Ward 5 Alderman Tony Sapienza, the proposal came forward due to difficulty in filling entry-level positions in several departments of city government.
Ward 8 Alderman Ed Sapienza felt a blanket approach was inappropriate and only department heads finding difficulty in hiring entry-level workers should be given this authority.
Currently, the mayor, upon recommendation of department heads and the city’s human resources director or the Board of Mayor and Aldermen Human Resources and Insurance Committee, has the authority to approve initial compensation at higher rate than the pay range specified within collective bargaining agreements. If this policy advances, the mayor would still hold that authority for employees above step 6 pay range in any collective bargaining agreements, with the department heads given authority for steps 2 to 5.
At-Large Alderman Dan O’Neil noted that no members of the Human Resources Department were present to answer questions, leading to Ward 6 Alderman Sebastian Sharonov recommending tabling the measure until someone from the department was available.
The other item taken up by the committee addressed proposed ward line changes following new census data. Two recommended changes to the ward lines proposed by the city’s Planning Department came before the committee from concerns addressed by the full Board of Mayor and Aldermen recently. The first recommended change, keeping Wellington Road as the southern border of Ward two from Wellington Way to the city’s border.
Initially, Ward 6 would have picked up a small triangle of Ward 6 north of Wellington Road, with the triangle consisting of the Wellington Road, the Londonderry Turnpike and the city’s border. Approximately 20 voters were included in the triangle, but one of them was recently re-elected Ward 2 Moderator Nicholl Marshall, who requested that the triangle stay in Ward 2 during a public hearing on Dec. 8.
That amendment was recommended on Monday. However, the other proposal died without a vote. That measure would have kept a portion of Ward 9 south of I-295 (see below), with Ward 9 giving Ward 8 a roughly square area with borders of Shasta Street, South Hall Street, Doris Street and South Lincoln Street. A small sliver of Ward 9 in the proposed area holding 57 voters will still go to Ward 8 along with the area south of I-293.
The proposed ward changes will go before the full board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday night for final approval.