City clerk admonished for speaking up

Reader Input
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In response to David York’s letter of Oct. 31.  1. Yes. I did take a temporary 10 percent pay cut (from $300 to $270) along with the other elected officials, management and the fire department (but not the police). This cut has been in effect over a year. 2. The Council is authorized to reduce the pay of the city clerk and the city treasurer, who by the way, have always had the same pay and benefits as the City Council. 3. The total pay cut that will take effect in December 2012 will actually amount to over two-thirds because the council also eliminated all overtime (about $30 per month) and all health benefits (about $420). In December 2012, the gross pay for the city clerk will be $200. That’s a total reduction of about $33,000 over five years. This year alone the council authorized a $49,000 consultant agreement for a sidewalk, not to mention another $400,000 in other consultant agreements, without ever any discussion at the council meetings. 4. This council discussed eliminating my position by putting it on the ballot, but decided against it when they were told it had already been on the ballot twice before and was soundly rejected by the voters. The council was also told by the previous assistant city clerk that if the elected position were abolished, the assistant would have to be promoted along with a pay increase. 5. The current assistant is now in the process of being certified. One is enough. There’s a reason for an elected city clerk. The voters want someone who is independent of the council, equal to the council and cannot be fired by the council. This city clerk has in the past been told to lie in the minutes and to “shorten” the minutes because they “made the council look bad.” This city clerk will not tolerate such behavior or any other injustice, unfairness or waste. I speak up and the council doesn’t like it. Joseph Labrie, Auburn city clerk, Auburn