Herkimer County has recently budgeted $134,661 for its first full time attorney, Robert J. Malone. In a county with a population as small as ours and with one of the lowest median incomes in NY (ranking 50/62) this seems more than a little bit excessive.
Do Herkimer demographics support this expenditure?
How many people live in Herkimer? According to the US Census Herkimer County has a population of 64,519. The median household income is $45,000. With tax burdens in NY already nearly 50% higher than US average, Herkimer’s expenditure on a full time county attorney is simply an extravagance that we cannot afford.
What does $200,000 buy?
Supporting the College Now Program, the Herkimer County Legislature approved a $200,000 appropriation that allows high school students to enroll tuition-free in Herkimer College. What essential program won’t come about because of our new investment in a full time county attorney?
Appointee Robert J. Malone will be going from a part-time to a full-time position, with a salary of $134,661 and benefits. Savings from creating one full-time position would be approximately $1,500, according to county officials.
What are typical County Attorney salaries?
According to current statistics, an average county attorney salary is $53,000 and the maximum is $105,000. However, a NY county with a similar population, Columbia County, has a senior attorney and support staff with a budget as high as $425,395 in salary, plus pension and health benefits in 2012.
Small counties need to be especially thrifty when making spending choices. Easy-come Easy-go will not work for us. Civil servants shouldn’t get a bonus for serving the public good.