Media Archive

Piscataquis officals freeze their salaries

Article from Bangor Daily News, Wednesday, October 20, 2004

By Diana Bowley
of the NEWS Staff

Commissioners say new manager will take over some of their duties

DOVER-FOXCROFT - Piscataquis County commissioners voted Tuesday to freeze their salaries for the next three years. The commissioners said they took the action because the county manager hired last month, at a salary of $47,500, will eventually take over some of their responsibilities.

As such, the chairman's salary will remain $9,000 a year, and the remaining two commissioners will receive $7,800 each a year.

This pay represents the "middle of the road" in salaries afforded commissioners in the state, Chairman Eben DeWitt said in response to a question raised by Brownville Town Manager Sophia Wilson.

In the past, county commissioners have received cost-of-living raises and any wage adjustments made for elected officials. With Tuesday's action, the commissioners will not receive the 5 percent raise that was included in the 2005 budget for elected or appointed officials.

Meanwhile Tuesday, commissioners:

. Gave Unicel permission to place an antenna on the communication tower at the county complex. When the request was first discussed last month, it was thought that the company would provide the county with cellular telephones and coverage at no cost in exchange for rent on the tower.

But Tuesday, Chief Deputy Dale Clukey said the company would pay the county $500 a month rent and $50 a month for electricity instead.

This is about the same amount the county now pays the company a month for cellular phone coverage. He said the additional antenna will not improve communication for the Sheriff's Department, but would improve communication for Unicel's users in the town. The company plans to add towers or antennas in Sangerville, Dexter, Milo and Brownville, Clukey said.

. Heard Sheriff John Goggin advise commissioners that the jail is still plagued with boiler problems. About $6,400 has been spent this year for repair and an additional $3,685 is needed to repair leaks on the bottom of the boiler. His department had budgeted only $2,000 for the repair, he said. In addition, the heat from the more than 18-year-old boiler fails to reach the old section of the jail, he said.

The commissioners agreed to ask an independent engineer to look at the boiler system and provide recommendations.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.