Our governor deplores his low salary. An astute businessman might have explored the position’s pay before accepting the job.

Maine is still, well into the governor’s second term, one of the poorer states in the nation.

The Feb. 17 article defines the $70,000 chief executive pay as 19 percent over the median Maine household income of $51,494 (”LePage says his pay is so low, he feels like a priest or a nun”). In addition to his salary he is allotted $35,000 non-audited annual expenses. He has no household cost for rent, utilities, taxes, maintenance, upkeep, insurance, food, heat, improvements, etc. He is provided with registered vehicles, drivers, pilots, and whatever else he wants. He pays no expenses on these.

It is stated that Gov. LePage would receive no benefit from a governor’s salary increase. However, the governor’s retirement is based on the salary of the current office holder. LePage’s pension would more than double with the proposed increase.

Empirical evidence suggesting that a raise is needed to insure candidates is lacking. We have been blessed with ample candidates from both parties and independents. Rep. Brad Farrin fears existing pay does not lure qualified candidates. There is some evidence for that.

I am retired and on an annually raided state pension. Maine State Retirement System pensions are based on the retirees’ career earnings at the time of retirement. If MSRS pensions were calibrated on the current pay for the career positions, the proposed raise in the governor’s pay would have some merit. It is now without merit.

I encourage the governor to find another more wealthy state to govern, forthwith.

Charles Jones

Augusta

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