March 30 2018,  Saugus

Town Hall turnover

Purchasing Agent Terri Peznola leaves for Andover – for double the pay

 By Mark E. Vogler

WISHING HER WELL: Finance Committee Chairman Kenneth DePatto, left, with outgoing Purchasing Agent Terri Peznola, who also serves as clerk of the Finance Committee. DePatto waited until the end of the committee’s review of warrant articles for the April 9 Special Town Meeting on Wednesday night to announce that it was Peznola’s final meeting. “Your services have been invaluable,” DePatto told Peznola in wishing her “nothing but success” in her future job with the Town of Andover. (Saugus Advocate photo by Mark E. Vogler)

If Town Purchasing Agent Terri Peznola wanted to remain at her current job, she would be making a base salary of close to $46,000 on July 1 – the start of the new fiscal year. But Peznola, who has only been working at that position for the past 18 months, has decided to take a similar job in another community for about double the pay, according to Town Manager Scott C. Crabtree. There was really no way to match what the Town of Andover will be paying Peznola, Crabtree said Wednesday night after a Finance Committee review of warrant articles that the town manager proposed for a Special Town Meeting set for April 9.

“It’s very difficult to retain people,” Crabtree told the Finance Committee, referring to an ongoing challenge he’s had in minimizing the turnover of important jobs at Saugus Town Hall. With the low level of pay in Saugus town government compared to area communities, the Town of Saugus has trouble keeping valued employees, according to the town manager.

There have been reports in recent weeks that Peznola, who also serves as the clerk of the Finance Committee, planned to be moving on. Finance Committee Chair Kenneth DePatto made Peznola’s resignation official with an announcement at the end of Wednesday night’s meeting. “I’d like to thank her for her diligent work,” DePatto said, praising her for “tremendous commitment” to the town.

“You never missed a date. I thank you very much … Your services have been invaluable … Hope you have nothing, but success,” DePatto said.

The town manager echoed DePatto’s compliments. “She’s going to be very missed,” Crabtree said.

Yesterday was Peznola’s last official day working for the Town of Saugus. In addition to being the town’s purchasing agent, she served as clerk of the Finance Committee for the past four years. Peznola said the town should consider writing a different job description for the position she’s leaving.

Following Wednesday night’s meeting, Crabtree said the town needs to address the issue of salary for key town employees if officials want to keep good people employed.

 

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