First Selectman Gives Back Bonus, Raise

The move comes after the NBC CT Investigates report.

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A Connecticut first selectman returned his bonus and salary bump following a story by NBC Connecticut Investigates.

Somers First Selectman Bud Knorr said he was following past precedent by giving himself a bonus and raise without consulting his fellow selectmen.

Yet, at a recent Board of Finance meeting, Knorr said the move “…in retrospect was a lapse in judgment and an error for which I apologize…I’m sensitive to the criticism this kerfuffle has caused.  And as such, I have instructed the chief financial officer to immediately rescind my recent salary increase and I’ve sent a check to the town for the $3,000 bonus that I was paid.”

The raise was exposed by NBC Connecticut Investigates last month.

Knorr said in a statement he will consult with the full board before increasing his compensation and set up a process for doing so going forward.

Board of Finance member Bill Meier has concerns about transparency. He questions if a first selectman should have any say on raising his or her compensation. Meier also told the board he believes this should be a line item in a proposed budget so the public knows about it before it goes into effect.

Meier and Chief Financial Officer Mike Marinaccio publicly debated their disagreement over how the raise was handled.

Marinaccio said: “No one’s hiding anything.”

Meier said: “I think there’s a duty to disclose. I think if you read 7-148h with the Connecticut general statutes.”

Marinaccio said: “I think if you feel that strongly, you should file some paperwork with the ethics commission.”

Meier did not indicate if he plans to do that.

He did say the board of finance is also looking further into how these raises will be given out, including the rationale for having the first selectman vote on his own raise.

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