Correction: Maggie Lyons is full-time, but part-time as previously reported. We regret the error.
Tax Collector Manny Cambra wants his assistant Maggie Lyons to be made an assistant tax collector, giving her the authority to back him up when he's out of the office.
Lyons is currently assistant to the tax collector, which is more of a clerical title.
"She's a clerk and gets paid a clerk's salary," Cambra told the Town Council at a budget workshop last week. "There's only two of us in there now. She's at one of the lowest pay-grades."
Town Finance Dir. Carl Tomchik told the council it would cost an additional $8,000 to $9,000 in salary to honor Cambra's request, depending upon negotiations with the union.
Lyons handles around 1,000 transactions a day and has received kudos from past first selectmen Andrew Nunn and Thomas Buzi and from current first selectman, Steve Vavrek, according to Cambra.
Cambra also told the Town Council it should consider raising the tax collector's salary, if not for him then for whoever runs for the position and is elected after him. His salary is $55,600.
Cambra says he works over 50 hours some weeks and has achieved a high collection rate for the town, but added he won't keep running for tax collector forever. The salary is low and not likely to attract many qualified candidates, according to Cambra.
"Eventually, I won't run again," he said, "and you can't afford an $800,000 to $1 million hit in that office — and you definitely can't afford a revolving door."