Fairlee budget hearing focuses on employee pay

FAIRLEE—A raise in pay for town employees in Fairlee was the major topic of discussion during a budget hearing on Jan. 11.
Fairlee Selectboard member Cathy McGrath told the two dozen or so people who had checked into the Zoom meeting that the board had decided not to bestow cost-of-living raises in 2021. Most of the audience was employed by the town or represented a municipal department.
“We’re not doing cost-of-living raises because it [last year] was an incredibly unusual year,” McGrath explained. “Many taxpayers have been furloughed or had hardship, and this is a reflection on what’s available in the pocketbooks of the taxpayers. Many people, including myself, have been impacted by loss of work.”