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.