Friday, September 8, 2006

Ellsworth Withholds Salaries of Public Servants

One of the more closely read sections of Ellsworth's annual report has gone missing this year: the salaries of municipal and school employees.

City Manager Stephen Gunty said the salary listings were omitted because of a problem the printing company had formatting the salary data.

Gunty said reporting the salaries in the annual report is not a requirement.

"It was more work than we thought it was worth," Gunty said.

Whether it's legally required or not is beside the point. (At least they are going to prepare a copy of the information to one citizen who asked for it.) The fact that it's been included in the report as a convenience for the citizens of Ellsworth for many years makes its omission now a severe inconvenience for those who are trying to see how their money is being spent.

Salaries are one of the largest parts of any governmental budget, so being able to gauge the extent to which overpaid employees are contributing to budget difficulties is a basic necessity for the taxpaying public.

Educating the public on how its money's being spent is always "worth the work."



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