Selectmen chair currently averaging about $1,300 a month

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LEBANON, Maine - Lebanon's current Selectmen Chair is outpacing many of his predecessors in salary paid by a large percentage, according to payroll numbers obtained by The Rochester Voice last week.

Selectmen Chair Richard "Chip" Harlow averaged about 27 hours a week between July 1 and Dec. 13, with a total number of hours of 619.50 over 23 weekly pay periods.

Meanwhile, Selectman Paul Philbrick averaged 13 hours a week for a total of 292.75 hours over 22 weekly pay periods and Selectperson Laura Bragg averaged about 10 hours a week for a total of 189.75 hours over 19 weekly pay periods.

The cumulative salary paid out for the $12 per hour job during the timeframe was $7,434 for Harlow, $3,513 for Philbrick and $2,277 for Bragg.

The last time The Rochester Voice (then The Lebanon Voice) took a look at selectmen's pay was back in April 2013 when the board comprised former Assistant Lebanon rescue chief Jason Cole, selectchair Bob Frizzell and Karen Gerrish, who went on to serve as a state rep.

At that time Frizzell's average monthly salary was about $575 and Gerrish's was $400, while Cole's was $700, a little less than half of what Harlow's currently is at just over $1,300.

Philbrick, who was at Town Offices today as part of his regular 1-3 p.m. shift every Monday, defended Harlow's expansive hours, saying as chair "he does a lot of prep work" for selectmen's meetings.

Selectmen's hourly salary has remained at $12 since at least 2013.

Harlow and Bragg were not immediately available for comment.

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