(Host) Governor Jim Douglas is defending his decision to boost the pay of many key members of his administration. In some cases, Douglas has raised the salaries of some cabinet members 20% higher than those paid to members of the Dean administration who served in the same position.
For instance, under the Dean administration, the secretary of Administration made just over $93,000. Michael Smith, the new secretary, receives $113,000. In a number of other cases, new Douglas appointees are making roughly $10,000 more than their Dean counterparts.
Douglas told reporters at a Montpelier press conference that he believes the pay increases are justified because many top members of his administration had to take a pay cut from their jobs in the private sector in order to work in state government:
(Douglas) “In some cases, tens of thousands of dollars less. They’ve given up substantial salaries and security – partnerships in some cases – to come in to work in state government. I believe they’re worth every penny.”
(Host) Each position has a defined salary range that can be offered to applicants. Douglas says he chose to pay salaries at the higher end of the range in order to attract the most qualified people to his administration.