MILFORD – Selectmen this week recommended an $85,500 salary for the town’s first human resources director.
“We’re hiring the first human resources director in the town of Milford, and we bring him or her in too low, how long are they going to stay?” Board of Selectman Chairman Michael Walsh asked Monday, defending the salary. “I think we need to step up to the plate as a board …. and say ‘this is what we need to pay this person.'”
Maureen Giffin started work Monday, according to Town Administrator Richard Villani.
“I don’t want to belabor her resume, but obviously you were impressed with her through the interview process, as was I, as was the finance director,” Villani said. “I think she’s a great addition here.”
Giffin holds a master’s degree in human resource management, and was director of human resources at EMC Corp., including some time at Dell Inc. after the companies merged. She most recently held the director job at the Dedham Hilton hotel, and told selectmen during her interview that she is looking to pull away from the corporate side and connect with people again.
The board’s vote was only a recommendation, which Villani will bring to the Personnel Board. Selectmen were careful to be very clear about the distinction, as members have tussled with the Personnel Board in the past year or so. Disagreements include the salary and job description of a building commissioner, a Town Meeting-denied request by selectmen to place the new human resources director on the Personnel Board, and the ongoing controversy over the removal of the Personnel Board’s chairman.
“I do want to remind this board that this is what was turned into a political football,” Selectman William Kingkade Jr. said. “You’re asking us to make a recommendation, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Villani originally offered selectmen a floor suggestion of salary lower than the number chosen, at about $78,000.
“I think she deserves to be in the higher end,” Villani said. “I would not recommend, in my opinion, anything less than that.”
Selectmen pushed for the higher salary.
“She’s building a whole department from the ground up,” Kingkade said.
It’s unclear when the Personnel Board will hold its next meeting.
Alison Bosma can be reached at 508-634-7582 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find her on Twitter at @AlisonBosma.