Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mass. Governor Deval Patrick – Does He Warrant a $140,535 Annual Salary?

When Mitt Romney and Kerry Healey gained the corner office on Beacon Hill, they both declined to take a salary from the State of Massachusetts. This was done as a cost cutting measure to help reduce the States deficit. At that time, the Massachusetts governor’s annual salary was $135,000, over the course of four years, the savings to the Commonwealth equaled $540,000, a drop in the bucket when talking about Massachusetts budgets, yet, notable because it spoke to the character of Governor Romney and his Lieutenant Governor – as public servants. One must also take into consideration that Romney had amassed a good sized fortune, which would allow him the luxury to govern sans pay.

In a review of Governors’ Salaries from 2007 current Governor Deval Patrick’s salary ranks 14th out of 50 – at $140,535. In the grand scheme of things, governor’s salaries are well below the salaries of non-government administrators, however, that said, one hopes that those that run for public office do so to out of a sense of commitment to the State.

When Deval Patrick was elected, he has no prior experience in government , or in any administrative capacity, rather he worked as a district attorney, and served on a variety of boards, including Ameriquests Mortgage. Before becoming the Governor, it was disclosed that the Patrick’s were buried in mortgage debt to the tune of 5.9 million dollars, however, he did sign a 1.35 million dollar book deal , which, said book is scheduled for release in 2010. Patrick also declined to to release his income tax statements – therefore, research indicates no known net worth.

The Governor, in addition to his salary, does enjoy a few other perks, two of which came under fire from residents of the Commonwealth – Patrick’s decision to trade in the standard state car for a Cadillac, and his use of the State Police helicopters, at taxpayer expense.
With a litany of proposed new taxes, to cover an ever increasing budget deficit, the Govenor needed a stop-gap. The solution, pending legislation approving additional taxes, is to cut 750 jobs and furlough 5,000 state employees for one week.

One has to understand that anyone elected to a position such a Governor, where the abilities to run a business are pivotal, prior experience is desirable. When the people of the Commonwealth elected Patrick based upon “hope, change, and “Yes, we Can”, they certainly got more than they bargained for. In the final analysis, we’re Patrick in the private sector, he would be earning a great deal more than he does as Governor, although, it is more than likely that he would have been unemployed sooner than later.

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