Recession? Poor Job Market?

Recession? Poor Job Market?

January 23, 2009 Posted by Maine Heritage Policy Center - 1 Comment

Looking for a Great Paying New Career?
Look No Further than the Maine State Government!

By Maine Freedom Forum

 

 

“I recognized early last year that the national economy was deteriorating, even if we weren’t sure how bad things would get, and I took immediate action to reduce State spending,” Governor Baldacci said. “Every part of state government, and the programs and services it supports, has a responsibility to share in the sacrifices imposed by this recession…” (Village Soup Story – Jan 11)

This is a common sense statement coming from the Governor, particularly while staring in the face of an $840 million budget deficit.  But have we done it?  Has state government, and the programs and services it supports, made every possible sacrifice to begin the trend of responsible spending that will pull us out of this hole?  

There is evidence to say that, no; the savings light has not shined in every shadowed corner of the Maine State Government to find savings.  This Director of Multicultural Affairs  job listing is a perfect example of a good place for Maine Government to look for additional savings.

This position is a (Public Services Manager II) position.  A search of MaineOpenGov.com DHHS payroll data yields some telling results about this position. DHHS currently employs 79 Public Services Manager II’s with a combined total annual compensation of over $6,000,000.  Seeking to add Public Service Manager II number 80, Director of Multicultural Affairs, during a “hiring freeze”, the State would take on an additional $71,748.98 to $94,929.63 in salary and benefits for just one position.  A better solution might be for the 79 State Employees who already hold a similar position to tag team the “Director of Multicultural Affairs” position for the time being, or leave it vacant while we deal with nearly a billion dollar budget deficit.

The first thing listed in the job description is the responsibility of “planning, coordinating, and directing DHHS programs providing services for non-US citizens”.  At a time when we are struggling to get by in our own State, the State wants to spend $71,748.98 to $94,929.63 taxpayer dollars to hire an employee whose purpose, in part, is to steer non-US citizens towards taxpayer funded programs?

The job description also suggests that the appropriate candidate for this position will…“increase the cross-cultural capacity of other state agencies”.  “Increase” is code for growing existing programs, adding inter-departmental programs, and possibly creating entirely new positions, all which will cost taxpayers more of their hard-earned dollars.  

Building “partnerships and collaborative work groups among the various ethnic and cultural constituent groups” is a worthwhile cause, but it cannot be a priority hiring at this critical financial time for the State of Maine.  The culture Maine needs to focus on now is one of fiscal prudence and responsible spending at all levels.