CHELSEA — “We have to make it more enticing to sit on the town board,” Chelsea Trustee Howard Drake said at last month’s regular town meeting.

And so it was done.

At a special meeting just days before filings began for the upcoming municipal elections, the Chelsea Board of Trustees agreed to begin paying board members, including the mayor, beginning with the new fiscal year in July. The compensation will be $75 per month per trustee and $200 per month for mayor.

After years of volunteering their time to the town, current board members decided it would be appropriate to give some sort of compensation for serving in that capacity.

“There are some board members on the board now who have said they will not run again, and we need people to want to be on the board,” Drake said.

In fact, Charlie Barnes has been serving as trustee for the past eight years and announced that he will not run again. Appointed trustee Bill Moore, who was appointed in late 2006, is not seeking an election to his current seat either.

That leaves two open seats that candidates filed for this past week.

Talk of an incentive also came because the entire five member board, which includes the mayor, is up for election.

Those who filed unopposed include current Mayor Kenny Weast, current Trustee Howard Drake, and newcomer to the board George Kelton. Trustee Norman Wooten, Daryl Price and Carl Carmack will vie for the two 2-year seats on the board at the election April 3.

Initial talk of incentives involved free city water service for those who serve. However, a few of the board members felt this was not a good way to compensate trustees for their time.

Town Clerk Wanda Pelletier, who has been seated in that capacity since May 2004, is seeking re-election as well, and has three candidates running against her — Tanya Theall, April Lockhart and Connie Helt.

Pelletier now earns $2,176 monthly as town clerk. Under the new guidelines, her office will also be compensated $25 per meeting attended and $250 per month for court proceedings.