MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

32 posts / 0 new
Last post
Naran
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

Our own low-scoring rep, Chris Babbidge (D) got a 12 on the MERI scale. Isn't that special?

For those who may not recall, he's a history teacher at the local high school, and the first thing he did after being elected (not by me, you may be sure) was finagle the school board into giving him [u]paid leave[/u] from his $56K a year base salary for the time he spent in Augusta. They deducted the cost of a sub and gave him the rest, free and clear, which was [u]$560[/u] a week last year. This added up to some $30-$35K, overall.

They did this against a long-time policy forbidding it. In addition, his fellow teacher Tom Murphy, (R), our former rep, never got one dime from the district in all the years he served as rep. Nor did he ever request it.

There was local outrage, to which Babbidge responded that 1) we owed it to him, for his long years of service, and 2) he had to pay for two weddings last year, so he needed it. I guess his salary all those years doesn't count.

Anyway, we extracted a promise from the board this past spring that the paid leave would not be renewed this fall. A couple weeks ago, I duly sent an email to the superintendent, asking him to confirm that indeed, Mr. Babbidge would not be getting paid double to do his elected duty in Augusta this coming session.

When I didn't hear back right away, I said "hmm." It doesn't take long to type in "No, he won't be getting paid leave this year."

Guess what? Someone (I wonder who) had hatched a plan that Babbidge should be hired as the [u]official SAD 71 historian[/u], to pen a 25 year memoir of the district. (talk about your horror stories!). The proposal being that he would be paid for this expensive busy work, on top of his remaining salary after the sub is deducted.

After some speedy analysis and evisceration of the proposal by various members of our group, I believe Mr. Babbidge will be finding himself without his nest egg this coming year. It isn't over till the full board votes, but the recommendation from the Human Resources committee is now "Leave Without Pay." He can make $100 a day if he's in town and wants to sub, but that's it.

I simply cannot believe the arrogance and self-entitled attitude displayed by this person. Unfortunately, he's not alone. I believe he got the idea from Nancy Sullivan (D) Biddeford, another teacher who has been on paid leave every year for the last 5 or 6 as rep and now senator. He used Nancy's arrangement as justification for asking our board to foot the bill as well.

If someone runs for the legislature, they shouldn't do so on the assumption that any pay cut will be picked up by the taxpayers, just because the new rep thinks they're somehow "worthy" of it.

charlotte
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 1 week ago
Joined: 04/09/2005 - 12:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

How can that be Naran?

David Hughes
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 11 months ago
Joined: 11/27/2001 - 1:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

how does paid leave effect their retirement prospects? Guess I'm asking does the leave count towards retirement?

Naran
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

The first time this happened, certain members of the school board pressured other members, who bowed to Babbidge and his cronies. We demanded the board rescind the agreement, but they decided to let it stand, as a one-time only deal.

After the resulting firestorm, you'd think the super and Babbidge would have known better than to try for this again.

However, I think the plan was to try and put this through quietly, and once it was a done deal, the board could say (again) that they were unwilling to rescind what had been enacted.

It's a constant source of amazement to me how many of these back-door deals go on. I shudder to think how many there are we never hear about, because they're buried in the fine print.

Naran
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

David, I think we addressed this issue last year. As I recall, the rep gets paid EITHER by the district or the legislature, for retirement purposes. I don't think they get a double dip on that end of things. But again, I'm not sure.

Maybe one of our reps on here could comment, if they know.

Naran
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

Dang! the dreaded Photo Won't Copy Syndrome! Must be because the other one I tried came from the State website. :LOL:

It was a good one too, showing him with JB and Beth Edmonds.

Anyway, here's a photo of our rep, from his webpage.

[img]http://janus.state.me.us/house/photo122/babbcw.jpg[/img]

Catherine
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 2 months ago
Joined: 08/27/2004 - 12:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

Yet another *finger wagging letter* from Naran? ;)

Good find. I, too, am outraged!!!!!!!

G36C
Offline
Last seen: 12 years 6 months ago
Joined: 12/05/2005 - 3:26pm
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

Would the SAD be throwing money away like this if they were living under TABOR?

Naran
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

I doubt it. All the more reason to fight like heck to get TABOR enacted next year.

charlotte
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 1 week ago
Joined: 04/09/2005 - 12:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

Naran..what is the big deal...so he is getting a bit of cash...so what?

Catherine
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 2 months ago
Joined: 08/27/2004 - 12:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

Charlotte-

The problem is that he is getting paid for time that he is not working.

He was getting extra. It's not like he was using his PTO. He was getting PTO and paid above and beyond that. That's not fair to the other teachers and it doesn't make sense!

Say I am a teacher and I decide to get a 2nd job that takes me away from my teaching responsibilities. Should I be able to get paid for that time that I spent at the 2nd job? It's really no different than that.

Gaffer
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: 12/11/1999 - 1:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

Naran:

This behind the scenes and under the cover of darkness type of deals are all to familiar and all to often in local town and school board dealings. In fact the legislative rules and laws that govern schools are set up biased against the citizens and tax payers. School boards are just about autonomous not by chance but by design to give them the power over the people.

phoenix
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 4 months ago
Joined: 04/17/2004 - 12:01am
What filth!

My condolences, Naran. My own House Rep, by sharp contrast, nears a 100 MERI rating. As a result, I've just volunteered to help with some of his future plans.

Let's put TABOR to the pedal.

Peter
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: 03/13/2005 - 1:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

[quote="charlotte"]Naran..what is the big deal...so he is getting a bit of cash...so what?[/quote]

RIGHT...
even you don't like this Charlotte!

charlotte
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 1 week ago
Joined: 04/09/2005 - 12:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

Catherine...I was being silly...I totally agree with Naran and what you have said. I don't understand how he could get paid....

Glad you let me have it..if anyone said that...I would have given them a lashing too~!:D

Naran
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

I figured Charlotte had to be joshing with her comment above.. although sadly, some other people around here said that exact thing, and THEY MEANT IT!!!

There will be howls of outrage when these same Entitlement Advocates find out we derailed the free "Babbidge Bennies" this year.

We have a paid lobbyist in Augusta that does work for the town and district when required, and we don't need our rep double-dipping under the same guise. Was this "deal" offered to him in order to sweeten his work on our behalf? Kind of reminds me of the stories one hears about the garbage rackets in New Jersey.

(Large man in overalls, with extensive facial stubble and a lit cigar, to hapless homeowner - "Pay up, or else, Shorty.")

cover_maine
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: 06/12/2005 - 12:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

Neoliberal patronage. A kept man.

What a disgrace!

Stavros Mendros
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 10 months ago
Joined: 10/23/1999 - 12:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

When I ran in 1998 my opponent, the 4-year incumbant, at the time was allegedly doing the same thing. I have no idea if it was true or not. I do know that I resolved that problem and gave her the opportunity to go back to teaching full time.

She holds the distinction of being the only incumbent Democrat to lose in Lewiston in over 120 years and 1 of only 2 democrats to lose in Lewiston since 1902 and 1 of 3 to lose since 1900.

UsuallyConcerned
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 1 month ago
Joined: 07/18/2005 - 12:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

But the real question is, did you ever go on a "fake"date with her?

Michael Vaughan
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 5 months ago
Joined: 10/22/1999 - 12:01am
Rim shot..

Ba-dum tschhhhhhhh....

Stavros Mendros
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 10 months ago
Joined: 10/23/1999 - 12:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

Well, you can be damn sure I would never have gone on a real date with her.

cover_maine
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: 06/12/2005 - 12:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

Excuse me please, but did you say that State Senator Nancy Sullivan, a public school teacher, is on paid leave to be in the legislature???????????

Is that the normal status quo for a public or municipal employee to be paid under such circumstances?

Editor, do you know if this is the norm?

Naran
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

Yes sir, I did say exactly that. She petitioned her school board for the paid leave years ago, and they granted it. Evidently it has been renewed every year, since to my knowledge, she is still receiving full pay and benefits no matter how much time she spends in Augusta.

While legal, it certainly (to me) isn't ethical or morally correct. She is being paid as a senator, and she is being paid her teaching salary, while absent from her duties in the Biddeford school system.

In addition, I assume they are paying ANOTHER teacher to fill in for her while she's not there.

Isn't that swell? I have to wonder how many of her constituents know this.

G36C
Offline
Last seen: 12 years 6 months ago
Joined: 12/05/2005 - 3:26pm
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

Any media outlet with an interest in government integrity should look into this. javascript:emoticon(':oops:')
Embarassed

Naran
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

There were several news stories in our local papers when this first happened, including an incensed column written by Tom Murphy, the other rep I mentioned. He was outraged, and made no bones about saying so in print.

Despite the letters and articles condemning his double dipping, it didn't deter Babbidge one iota. He wrote several letters and articles himself, defending his piracy with stories of all the extra time he'd put in for the wee kiddies over the years, etc, etc. (As if every other teacher doesn't do exactly the same on occasion). And how much he DESERVED to be paid the money.

Meanwhile, the district had to lay off 12 positions last year to save money, including a half time school nurse.

Stavros Mendros
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 10 months ago
Joined: 10/23/1999 - 12:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

When someone runs against this bum and sends him packing my only advice is don't bring this up. Those people who care already know about it. Hit him on issues and let this burn in the backs of people's minds who already know about it, like all the teachers. Everyone who cares already knows, and if it is never brought up it will never be defended against and the heartburn among regular teachers will just continue to build.

Naran
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

Hmmmm. Interesting strategy. I don't know if we could keep from mentioning it, though. It's the best offense we have against his gaining another term. After all, he does have many progressives and Dems on his side, despite the bennies issue, since he's a D.

In addition, I think it's a safe bet that about 50% (or more) of our district staff don't live here and can't vote anyway. A couple years ago it was 40%, but I bet the ratio has risen since then, we've had a major reval and some other increases.

Thank you for the input, well worth considering.

Naran
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

A note for any Kennebunkers reading this - the town manager's contract (Barry Tibbetts) is currently under review, and it appears there are some board members in favor of starting over with someone new.

The final vote is on Tuesday, Dec. 27th, at town hall, Room 300. There will be board discussion prior to the vote, hopefully the public will be allowed to weigh in.

If anyone is willing to contact the selectmen [u]before then [/u]with an opinion, it would be very helpful. We need a new start. We need a manager, not a would-be mayor.

Here's the board chairman's address. Please specify that you would like your email sent to the [u]entire board:[/u]

Tom Wellman twellman@kennebunk.maine.org

Thank you!!

Anonymous
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

This is OUTRAGOUS!!!

And Sullivan sits on the Conduct and Ethics committee?

What is wrong with people?

Are there any others or are these 2 the only ones?

Talk about a conflict of interest.

Naran
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

Thumper, I don't know how many others there are, but I'd be willing to bet on a few more. And likely their constituents have no idea of the double-dipping going on.

The self-justification is amazing, isn't it???

Anonymous
MERI Ratings, PIRACY, and Our State Rep

AMAZING! some people can rationalize anything!!

I think it's time to "out" these people of great character.

Sort of a come out of the double dipping closet party so to speak.

Pages

Log in to post comments