BUCKSPORT — Forced to revisit the matter after a voting error at their last meeting, town councilors reaffirmed Sept. 27 paying more than $5,000 in back pay and related costs to the town’s ambulance staff.
The back pay stems from a new pay policy for on-call personnel that was put into effect July 1, before the council had officially approved it.
The council approved the new policy Sept. 13 and made it effective back to Aug. 31. The $5,330.55 in back pay and payroll taxes covered the period from July 1 to Aug. 30.
Councilors split 3-2 in favor of approving the back pay at the Sept. 13 meeting and Mayor David Keene declared the motion approved.
Upon further review, however, it was discovered approval of such a matter requires at least four votes. Keene apologized at the Sept. 27 meeting for his error.
Councilor Byron Vinton, who was absent from the Sept. 13 meeting, said Sept. 27 he was upset that the policy went into effect before it was supposed to but also wanted to put the matter to rest.
“I strongly object to what was done,” he said, “but I will vote in the positive to move past this and get it done.”
Michael Ormsby, one of the two “no” votes from the Sept. 13 meeting, said he would not change his vote. The council was addressing a matter again because of a procedural error, he said, contrasting it with what happened with the ambulance service.
“It has everything to do with not following proper procedure,” said Ormsby of his vote, adding it was not a personal matter.
The council then split 5-1 in favor of approving the back pay (Joel Wardwell was out of town on business).