In Plymouth, County Commissioners meet tonight, April 20 and on the agenda is next year’s budget—a budget that has become controversial because it includes almost doubling the salary of Commissioners Sandra Wright, Greg Hanley and Dan Palotta.
The budget also includes a 5 percent COLA, or cost of living increases for Treasurer Tom O’Brien and Register John Buckley, which are not apparent because last year’s salary is not listed. This, leads some to claim the budget lacks transparency.
County Administrator Frank Basler says County Budgets are online.
“Anyone can go to the budgets, look up the numbers, have every individual team member’s salaries. We don’t have them listed each year because the print would be very small. So we try to balance our readable print on the pages with other information,” said Basler.
Basler explains that all employees in unions and graded positions get step increases each year.
“They also get COLA increases tied to union negotiations. The actual elected officials only receive increases every few years, so when you look at a 5% increase that could be 2 or 3 years worth of actual increases,” said Basler.
The County Administrator says step increases average around 3% and “COLAs, depending upon which of the unions that they’re members of, could either be 1% or 1 ½%.”
Commissioners meet today at 5:30 p.m. at their offices on Obery St.
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