FARMINGTON — The Franklin County Budget Advisory Committee is poised to take its final vote on a proposed $6.82 million budget for county government and the jail at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the courthouse.

Franklin County commissioners’ annual pay is on the line after budget panel members decided 5-4 in a preliminary vote June 17  to reduce the commissioners’ pay to $6,000, half of what they made in the 2019-20. Commissioners receive no benefits. It is the second time since May 2016 that the budget committee is considering reducing commissioners’ pay. Commissioners’ annual pay and the benefit package was $14,319 prior to July 1, 2016.

Franklin County commissioners reduced the treasurer’s annual pay to $12,000 with no benefits on June 30. According to the budget proposal, the salary was proposed at nearly $16,600. Commissioners made the change after adding in about $11,500 to the proposed budget for additional hours for a part-time employee to answer phones and do other tasks in the office and to assist the finance manager.

Treasurer Pamela Prodan, who is serving a four-year term, works on average 13 hours a week and has been working staggered shifts in the commissioners’ office. Commissioners also set the judge of probate salary at a flat $34,000 with no benefits this past spring.

Salaries by county

The pay range for commissioners in the 16 counties vary, just like benefits. Cumberland, Piscataquis, Washington and York counties have managers. All but two of the remaining 12 counties have administrators. Franklin and Waldo counties each have a county clerk to manage county government.

The majority of county governments in the state are led by three commissioners. Cumberland, Somerset and York have five commissioners and Androscoggin County has seven.

Some commissioners and elected officials receive cost of living increases and benefits, others do not. The number of regular commissioners’ meetings range from once a week in Penobscot County to typically one monthly meeting in Aroostook and Sagadahoc counties. They also attend additional meetings when needed.

More than half the counties have unorganized territory that commissioners also oversee. Franklin, Oxford and Somerset counties are among them.

In Androscoggin County, the seven commissioners each receive an annual pay of $4,000 but receive no benefits, according to Administrator Larry Post. Other elected officials get the same pay increase as nonunion employees.

Over in Oxford County, the three commissioners are eligible for benefits. This budget year the chairman received $11,881 and the other two each received $10,825, according to Administrator Tom Winsor’s information provided in May.

The three commissioners in Knox County are each paid $8,500 with the chairperson receiving an additional $750, according to county Administrator Andrew Hart. They are not eligible for benefits.

Washington County’s three commissioners make different amounts, county Manager Betsy Fitzgerald said. The chairman makes $8,175, a second one makes $7,029 based on longevity, and the third one makes $6,750, Manager Betsey Fitzgerald said.

In Hancock County, the three commissioners are eligible for a cost of living increase and single-family health benefits. The chairperson makes $11,365 annually and the other two each make $10,635, Administrator Scott Adkins said.

Over in Waldo County, the trio of commissioners have a starting annual  pay of $12,035, which increases with longevity after that. A commissioner with 11 years in office makes $16,287.38 and one who has been there 15 years makes $17,402.28, according to county Clerk Barbara Arseneau.

The five commissioners in Cumberland County make roughly $11,000 each with the chairperson making $11,500. They receive no benefits, according to Manager James Gailey.

Two of the three commissioners in Lincoln County make an annual salary of $11,294.60 while the chairperson makes $12,102.93. They are eligible for benefits, Administrator Carrie Kipfer said.

Four commissioners in York County are paid $11,000 and the chairman makes roughly $11,500. They do not receive benefits, according to Manager Gregory Zinser.

Of the five commissioners elected in Somerset County, four are paid $7,000 each and the chairman makes $8,000, according to Administrator Dawn DiBlasi. This year their pay is proposed at $9,000 and $10,000 for the chairperson. The increase has to be approved by the Budget Committee. Commissioners are not eligible for benefits, she said in May.

The three commissioners in Sagadahoc County receive an annual pay of  $7,981. A 3% cost of living increase is scheduled on July 1.  They receive no benefits but do receive annual pay increases, county Administrator Pam Hile said.

In Kennebec County, two of three commissioners make about $12,000 and chairman earns about $13,300, Administrator Robert Devlin said. They get same cost of living increase as non union employees, which is  typically 3%, and are eligible for health benefits. A stipend is offered for not taking health benefits, he said.

The chairperson of the Penobscot County commissioners earns $15,755.48 annually, and the other two commissioners make $15,009.28. They are eligible for health benefits and a cost of living increase, Administrator William Collins said.

Of the three commissioners in Piscataquis County, two get $7,500 and the chairman gets $8,000, Administrator Michael Williams said. They do not receive benefits.

In Aroostook County, the commissioners chairman gets $5,282 and other two commissioners get $3,774, plus $225 per meeting they attend, Administrator Ryan Pelletier said.

They do receive benefits the same as any other full time employee such as health insurance, he said.

On average, Pelletier said, commissioners attend 18 meetings per year which would equal about $4,025 per commissioner per year in compensation above their annual stipend mentioned above.

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