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City clerk deserves better treatment

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Re: “Clerk takes pay cut,” (Journal, June 29). As a former employee (now retired) of the city of Auburn for 20 years, I was anxious to read this article in its entirety. This pay reduction is unfair and not justified. The elected officials have already taken a 10 percent reduction in pay. Now council has decided to reduce city clerk’s pay and benefits an additional two-thirds and not the city treasurer’s. All positions are elected and have always been the same pay and benefits. I’m surprised that council doesn’t know what the city clerk does. The city clerk ordinance should have been rewritten when Mr. (Joseph) Labrie was taping and transcribing council meeting minutes for six years. Transcription was not his duty, but he volunteered to do so. From 2000 to 2006 Mr. Labrie taped, transcribed and finalized the minutes for council’s approval. From 2000 to present Mr. Labrie has missed only two meetings — a record that I doubt could be matched by the current council. Apparently council has forgotten that at least twice a city clerk and city treasurer “appointment” has come before the voters and it was voted down. The statement about “certifications” is ridiculous, considering that the only requirement for all elected positions is residency, age and citizenship — the same as for the President of the United States. Why doesn’t council ask Mr. Labrie the number of hours he has devoted to city work in comparison to the city treasurer? I’m pretty sure he’d be happy to tell you. I suspect a hidden agenda on the part of some of the council members. I truly appreciate the stand that Mayor (Bridget) Powers has taken on this issue by voting “no.” Marilyn Hamner-Crout, Foresthill