Editorial: Palmer was right, 'take this job and...'

And, in replacing Palmer, county leaders may just see a cost savings in salary and benefits. Has anyone actually compared Palmer’s $118,000 salary plus benefits with managers overseeing counties of similar size?

Wasn’t there a time not so long ago that the job was handled by the chairman of the board?

Perhaps Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava is right in his assessment that the position is not needed at all. These are trying financial times in Essex County, and if Scozzafava, the county’s budget liaison, is recommending doing away with the post, then it should be taken seriously.

Don’t get us wrong. Our opinion here has nothing to do with Dan Palmer’s quality of work. We’re not saying he was a bad manager. In fact, we think the supervisors should have listened to him more when it came to budget negotiations.

Given the current situation, a reappointment would simply be too little, too late. Supervisors can’t ignore the county manager at budget time then beg for his return after he announces retirement. Supervisors, you had your chance, and you blew it.

We admired Palmer for his “Take this job and shove it” stance, deciding to “retire” gracefully at the end of the year instead of “resigning” rudely and walking out the door with his middle finger in the air. Dan, don’t take that away from us. Stick to your guns.

We want a well-run county, but we also want Dan Palmer to be happy. We’d like to see him smile more; he never seems to want to smile for photos we take of him on the job. Maybe some time away from Essex County government will help. Happy retirement, Dan, we hope. And a heartfelt thank-you to you and your wife, Deborah, who will retire at the end of the year as the Board of Supervisors clerk, for your county service.

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