Last week’s decision by the BET to cut our Tax Assessor’s salary in half, to $49,000 is just fine with me; in fact, we should repeat that process for all town employees, starting at the Selectman’s office and working our way down from there. But how it was done, and the reasons for it are less appealing.
BET Democrat John Blankley, who proposed the cut, said it was not personal against Laudonia. The salary is too high for an elected official, he said, and the town should always ensure that the job should go to someone with the proper credentials and certification.
“For me this was the continuation of the campaign last fall when I supported our tax collector candidate, Howard Richman, whose platform was the abolition of the tax collector as an elected position,” Blankley said. “There is money to be saved by reorganizing that department and making its head an appointed official with demonstrated qualifications and credentials, just as we did with the tax assessor position.”
Laudonia, who who won re-election by a two-to-one margin and is a certified tax collector, was not buying that claim.
“John Blankley happened to be the treasurer and campaign confidante of my opponent and after they resoundingly lost three months later he floated a change in governance that was turned down by the people of Greenwich,” he said. “He’s not accountable to anyone.
Blankley may not be accountable to the town, but he certainly answers to his family and sees to its needs. For instance, his own daughter Katie was promoted to Town Planner, without the “requisite – until-waived” educational requirements, and now receives a salary well in excess of $100,000 (her predecessor, Diane Fox, was making $141,000 in 2012). I’m heading off to a meeting and don’t have time to find the definitive list of Town salaries – it’s hidden; perhaps a reader has a link – but here’s a chart of what various “planners” make in Greenwich.
Wanna save money? Start at Town Hall.