By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Another public pension outrage (II)

As Amused notes, Timothy Bassett and his wife, Linda Bassett, have both been caught up in their own public-pension controversies. Bassett chairs the Essex Regional Retirement Board, which is responsible for a decision to lower the retirement age from 65 to 60 for police and fire dispatchers in four North Shore towns.

Sean Murphy reports in the Boston Globe today on Linda Bassett’s ongoing effort to hold on to $20,000 in pension payments that she received for serving on — though rarely attending meetings of — the board of library trustees in Lynn.

And here is an earlier Murphy story on Timothy Bassett, beneficiary of a taxpayer-funded gift from former House speaker Tom Finneran that allows him to collect his $41,000-a-year public pension while getting paid $123,000 by the retirement board.

The Salem News, following up Chris Cassidy’s story, runs an editorial today noting that the board not only has a $123,000 executive director (Bassett) but also a chief operating officer, Lilli Gilligan. The editorial observes that “why this tiny agency needs both an executive director and COO is another question for taxpayers to ponder.”

I so can’t wait for the state sales tax to rise by 25 percent. How about you?

Update: Mrs. Media Nation passes along this link. It turns out that Linda Bassett is a serious foodie and the author of “From Apple Pie to Pad Thai: Neighborhood Cooking North of Boston,” not to mention a columnist for two GateHouse papers — North Shore Sunday and Current River Sunday. (Mrs. B’s bio may be out of date — Current River Sunday does not appear on GateHouse’s list of newspapers.)

She is also “on the culinary faculty at North Shore Community College.” Pension alert!

Update II: I’m told that Current River Sunday is now the Newburyport Current.

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  1. krembo

    Yeah, Linda has a real pension, I mean, penchant for writing cookbooks.

  2. Neil

    And this from today’s Globe:77 workers for city topped $100k in ’08The Medford police chief, whose son is also on the force, says it’s cheaper to have fewer officers and pay them overtime, than to have more officers. Getting paid overtime, to guard the orange cones. Business as usual. There is no better racket. I have yet to see a flagman in any town north of Boston. Remember flagmen? Cost savings? Ha.

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