Commissioners approve budget after reverting pay cut

first_imgFARMINGTON – Franklin County commissioners sent a $6.79 million budget back to the Budget Committee Tuesday morning, opting to revert a reduction in commissioner pay.Commissioners Charlie Webster of Farmington and Terry Brann of Wilton moved to add $6,000 back into the County Commissioners’ cost center, a $130,171 budget that covers costs associated with the county’s administration. Webster made the motion to add back the $2,000 to all three commissioners’ salary lines for 2020-20, reverting a change made by the committee at their meeting last Wednesday. The committee had proposed cutting commissioner pay from $12,000 per year down to $10,000.“I find the whole thing very petty,” Webster said of the process. He thanked some of the committee members, but said others didn’t bother to evaluate the budget and only wanted to add money. Commissioners had made several budgetary reductions over the past few years, Webster said, including phasing out Program & Grant funding, leaving the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments and the Maine County Commissioners Association. The commissioners had saved the county $800,000 to $1 million over the past four years, Webster said.The budget process had become “political,” Webster said, adding that he had become frustrated by the process.Brann agreed with Webster in supporting the motion. Commissioner Clyde Barker of Strong, who has health issues, was not at Tuesday’s meeting. Brann did note that Barker had attended last week’s budget meeting and had been unhappy with the proposed decrease.Commissioners declined to further change two other committee alterations. The committee had removed roughly $7,000 for a part-time employee at the commissioners’ office, a change made with the approval of County Clerk Julie Magoon. A second change made by the committee, setting the treasurer’s salary at $12,000 and eliminating the purchase of a time clock, was also left in place by commissioners.The committee will only be addressing commissioner changes at their final meeting this year, specifically adding $6,000 back into the commissioners’ budget. A two-thirds majority of the committee would be required to veto the commissioners’ change.last_img

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