Groton town manager's contract extended; human resources director promoted

Groton — Groton Town Manager John Burt will not receive the raise he requested and then withdrew, but the Town Council has extended his contract one year, added a mileage reimbursement and promoted the human resources director to give him assistant town manager duties.

Burt, whose annual salary would have increased to $170,000 if his initial request had gone forward, presented a new resolution to the council on April 3. Councilors approved the resolution that extends his contract one year, provides mileage reimbursement for work-related travel outside town and revises the job of Human Resources Director Robert Zagami by naming him human resources director and assistant town manager.

Zagami's salary increased with the promotion from $98,212 to $108,212. Zagami will continue to spend most of his time on human resources functions, Burt said.

"The remainder will be doing things like special projects assigned by me and representing the town at meetings when I am not available," Burt said. "With the level of activity and the volume of projects that need to get done in town right now, it's important to have someone that I can empower to make decisions to help keep the town moving forward."

Money for Zagami's additional pay will come from existing budgets, according to the new resolution. Burt had earlier proposed salary increases for Planning and Development Director Jonathan Reiner, Assistant Planning and Development Director Deborah Jones and Economic and Community Development Manager Paige Bronk, but excluded those requests from his revised resolution.

Councilors said they believe Burt is dedicated to the town.

"This guy comes in early in the morning and he stays until 9 p.m.," Councilor Joe Zeppieri said. "He comes to every one of our meetings. I sent him an email at 10 p.m. and he returned it within 10 minutes."

Burt's contract, which originally ran from July 5, 2017, until July 4, 2022, would be extended until 2023.

d.straszheim@theday.com 

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