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Sunday, January 29, 2012

County Commissioner Clarifies Basis For Change In County Solicitor

Heimel Clarifies Solicitor Change

County Commissioner Paul Heimel has provided information, gathered by the Potter County Commissioners, and used in making their decision to replace long time County Solicitor Bruce Cahilly with Attorney Tom Shaffer at the last commissioner's meeting.

As previously pointed out previously, a prior Board Of County Commissioners had made the Solicitor, a county employee, with the associated extra expenses of county benefits included in the position.

The new appointment of Attorney Shaffer is on a contract basis with no additional expenses for county benefits or payments to provide a secretary.

The comparison chart below compares counties of similar population, the costs of a Solicitor, and if they consider the Solicitor a County Employee or a Contractor.

In an e-mail Sunday morning, Commissioner Heimel wrote:

"In researching whether it was reasonable to expect that the county might be able to save significant revenue in the County Solicitor line item during a year when finances are tight, I contacted other counties across Pennsylvania for some comparisons -- something I had done in previous years as part of an ongoing review to reduce expenses for the county."

"When it became evident that one or more people may be trying to turn this issue into a political football, I assembled the attached chart to summarize the findings of my research."

"Also, I would like to correct something that appeared in a recent account of this" matter:

"Attorney Tom Shaffer is paid $12,000 by Potter County Human Services/Children & Youth Services, not the $37,000 reported. The $12,000 is largely paid by state and federal funds and is the same amount as in 2011. It has been, and still is, worked out between Human Services and Attorney Shaffer."

County Solicitor Compensation Study 2012