I was embarrassed to read about the greed of the current Androscoggin County commissioners. At a time when we all have to tighten our belts, they felt it necessary to provide more pay and benefits than the county Budget Committee had set for them as per the official charter.
Additionally, they spent additional funds to seek the opinion of the attorney representing the county, a bill that each of us will now have to pay.
The Androscoggin County website provides the schedule and minutes of each meeting held, and in 2014 there were 24 such meetings and no workshops listed. Most of these minutes reflected a total time spent of less than an hour; in fact, many were completed in 30 minutes or less.
At best a commissioner attending all the meetings could spend 20 hours on meeting time in a year. That works out to $150 per hour based on the Budget Committee recommendation, or $670 per hour pay and benefits given what commissioners decided for themselves.
I’m pretty sure they would argue then that there is more work involved, but the minutes are already pretty short and, in 2015, the intent is to have a full-time county administrator who will further reduce the need for their time (and seven commissioners instead of the current three).
I suggest a compromise to them: A $3,000 base salary, $500 more for the chair, plus each gets $100 per month until the administrator is hired, and a travel stipend based on 24 trips from their homes to the county office.
Robert Reed, Lewiston