Editor's note: The Board of Aldermen have subsequently approved the mayoral pay raise, voting 5-1 in favor of the proposal at the Feb. 11 aldermanic meeting. Alderman Jack Finn, the lone Democrat, voted no; two members were absent. If the mayor of Shelton is going to be paid more, resident George Sender wants to establish specific goals for the occupant of that office to meet. Like with a company CEO, if a mayor meets the defined criteria, then the mayor should get a corresponding raise, according to Sender. A pay hike should be based on performance, he said, suggesting a bipartisan committee could be formed to make such decisions. \u201cI think maybe we should at least consider that,\u201d said Sender, one of a handful of Shelton residents to speak during a recent public hearing on a proposed 23% increase in the mayoral salary. Based on a procedure established by ordinance, the Board of Aldermen sets the mayoral salary every eight years, separate from annual cost-of-living increases. Mayoral base salary is $110,200 Currently, Mayor Mark Lauretti is paid a base salary of $110,200. His actual city earnings for calendar year 2013 were $118,340, which includes all taxable income and taxable benefits. An outside consultant hired by the aldermen, David Dunn, has recommended increasing that base pay to $135,700 over a three-year period. Dunn also has suggested adjusting the salary every six years in the future. The salary hike would take effect after the November mayoral election due to a state law that forbids passing and enacting salary increases for municipal elected officials in the same term. Dunn was at the public hearing and gave a presentation on his recommendations. He also answered questions from the public and aldermen. He has worked as a human resources or labor consultant for 35 years, with a focus on the public sector. Seeking details on process During the hearing, no one spoke specifically against the pay hike. But speakers did ask for details about the overall compensation for a mayor, including the use of a city car, 401(k) contributions, health insurance, and other benefits. \u201cWhat is that total number?\u201d asked resident Jerry Strevens. Strevens wanted to know more about the process used by Dunn to conclude that the Shelton mayor should be paid more. \u201cIs this arbitrary?\u201d he asked. \u201cWe just want to know how you arrived at your numbers,\u201d Strevens said. Sender also said the process could have been more transparent. Strevens liked the idea of having an evaluation process, noting any salary hike also would benefit a lousy mayor in the future. Like most speakers, Strevens was complimentary of the job being done by Lauretti. \u201cI think the mayor has done a good job,\u201d he said. Resident Judson Crawford said a mayor is similar to a CEO, having oversight over all city departments. And he said a few other government workers in Shelton now make more than the mayor, in an apparent reference to school administrators. Crawford, an active Democrat, said some of the information used by Dunn should have been made more readily available for public review. \u2018Well-run town\u2019 Resident Michael Southam strongly supported raising the mayoral salary. \u201cTo me, it\u2019s a\u00a0 no-brainer,\u201d he said, emphasizing he\u2019s not involved in local politics. Southam said he\u2019s been impressed with how efficiently municipal departments are run in Shelton, pointing to the library as one example. \u201cThis is an exceptionally well-run town,\u201d he said, adding, \u201cAt the end of the day, they all work for the mayor.\u201d (Story continues below) ----------------- Click below to read a story on the subsequent vote in favor of the pay raise by the aldermen: http:\/\/sheltonherald.com\/59740\/aldermen-approve-large-pay-hike-for-shelton-mayor\/ ----------------- Ruth Parkins also spoke in favor of increasing the mayoral salary. \u201cShelton is a very progressive, successful town,\u201d and that requires good leadership, she said. Parkins chairs the Planning and Zoning Commission. She is an active Republican, as is Lauretti. The Board of Aldermen is controlled by Republicans, 7-1. Non-political process? John Anglace, aldermanic president, said the mayoral salary process was set up to be non-political about 16 years ago and has \u201cproven to be straight-forward.\u201d He said a labor consultant from outside the city \u2014 such as Dunn \u2014 is used to offer guidance. Any raise would be for whoever is mayor after this fall\u2019s election, Anglace said, noting voters have the ultimate say in whether a mayor is doing a good job at the ballot box every two years. If dissatisfied, they \u201ccan vote him out,\u201d he said. Anglace said the mayor gets the same benefits as other non-union city workers when it comes to healthcare coverage, retirement plan contributions and cost-of-living adjustments. A mayor must work long hours and must be available 24\/7, according to Anglace. Dunn pointed out a mayor doesn\u2019t get paid overtime for night or weekend hours, unlike certain municipal workers. Factors in the recommendation Dunn based his recommendation on the salaries earned by mayors, first selectmen, town\/city managers, and chief operating\/administrative officers at comparable municipalities around the state. Another factor was the earnings of other Shelton city and education employees, with some school administrators and municipal workers \u2014 primarily some police department members due to overtime, on the city side \u2014 now earning more than the mayor, according to Dunn. Dunn also noted some municipalities have both mayors and appointed chief operating officers or deputy mayors, while Shelton does not.