At a time when we are cutting programs and the state is facing a dire forecast for the 2011 budget, the question that always comes up is “Where are we going to Cut”.
The first thing that comes to my mind is the Public Relations Position. Does the State , City or School really need a Public relations person? Is that person doing such critical work that the City, School, Etc. would be crippled without him/her?
In Today’s Heradl Joe Dwindell has a story that says” As the state bleeds billions in red ink, an army of nearly 100 public relations staffers charged with spinning the government story will cost taxpayers a staggering $6.4 million-plus this year, a Herald payroll analysis shows.
The high-priced flacks — including 10 who pull down $100,000 or more a year — pack cubicles from the University of Massachusetts to sheriff’s offices.
I’ve always wondered why Vocational Schools such as Greater Lowell Tech and Nashoba Tech see the need for a PR Flack? Couldn’t the 50K Plus salary be better used for a teacher, books or equipment? The city of Lowell which has many more schools and students seems to survive without one.
UMass Lowell according to the Herald has one of the highest paid PR people in Patricia McCafferty, who pulls down $146,561 as chief of public affairs at the University. Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office boasted five communications staffers earning nearly $300,000, State Treasurer Tim Cahill had five spokespeople earning $314,000 before $80,000-a-year communications director David Kibbe left to help out his gubernatorial campaign.
In the last days of the campaign I’d be asking a sitting State official why they allow the state to spend $6.4 million on PR while we are cutting local aid!
Hello Rep. Finegold, Garry what gives?