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Patrick Shield and Longevity Payments

February 28, 2010

On February 27, I had a great interview with Patrick Shield, candidate for Walpole selectman. Listen to the interview here.

One of the discussions Shield and I had was about longevity payments. See my previous blog post about the payments here.

Shield also asked how much money the town spends on longevity payments per year. I wanted to know the answer to this too, so today, after an analysis of the town budget, I determined that the town spent about $78,188 per year throughout all departments on longevity payments last year.

Shield pointed out that even while longevity payments may not exist in the private sector, private sector employees get other forms of bonuses and perks that public sector employees do not get. I agree, and it’s unfortunate.

Therefore, let me propose a new idea for Walpole. Instead of spending about $78,000 per year on longevity payments let’s distribute the money in this way:

$50,000 in bonuses to exemplary town employees who have been nominated by department heads or members of the public
$20,000 in bonuses to town employees and department heads who find ways to reduce costs
$2,000 to improve the town website (if even that much)
$6,000 in bonuses to exemplary Walpole school teachers who have been nominated by students/parents/department heads (to boost the salaries of Walpole’s underpaid teachers)

All Walpole police officers who earn more than $105,000 per year should have their base salaries reduced by $10,000.  That’s $130,000 worth of money we can use to hire at least two new police officers for the Town of Walpole, or perhaps give it to the fire department to reopen East Walpole Fire Station.

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