PARIS — Several residents spoke out about interim Police Chief Michael Dailey's wage Tuesday after an Advertiser Democrat story pointed out he made more than other local chiefs.
Dailey makes $28.85 an hour, which is about $2.50 more than Sheriff Wayne Gallant and about $3 more than former chief David Verrier made.
Chairman Sam Elliot said the wage was for the interim position, and could be changed when the town hires a permanent replacement for Verrier.
Resident Lawerence Reid said he didn't think it was right that Dailey is paid more than Verrier had been. “That's how I feel, and I don't think I'm the only one that feels that way.”
Reid said that in his experience running a restaurant, an interim position doesn't pay more. “I know, I need a dishwasher for the night, I go down to the labor pool and I get it for $8.50 an hour, not $39.95.”
“When you're talking about hiring someone who has training and background in police work, you can't just go down to the labor pool and hire somebody,” Selectman Robert Kirchherr said.
Selectman Robert Wessels said the board looked into wages for Maine chiefs and said Dailey's pay was “slightly lower” than others, when hours worked and population were considered.
Kirchherr said that Verrier's wage was among the lowest for chiefs in comparable positions. “We felt we had to offer something that was at least in the mid-range,” he said.
Dailey gave a letter of resignation in November, three days before Verrier resigned. As lieutenant, Dailey had been second in command in the Paris Police Department. Dailey had accepted a job with the Oxford County Sheriff's Office, but spoke with the town about staying with the Paris department when he learned Verrier was leaving.
Elliot said the board was happy that Dailey stayed with the Paris police. “We really have great hopes for him and a lot of support and we think he'll do a bang-up job.”
Dailey was in attendance but didn't speak at the meeting.