Legislative finance pick is starting at $225,000 - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, February 25, 2020
HomeThe SocialLegislative finance pick is starting at $225,000

Legislative finance pick is starting at $225,000

Pat Pitney, hired as Legislative Finance director by the Alaska Legislature, starts off with a salary that is roughly what the departing director, David Teal, was making after 20 years — $225,000, including benefits.

She is making in the neighborhood of what former Office of Management and Budget Director Donna Arduin was paid by the Dunleavy Administration. That was the same salary Pitney was paid when she worked as OMB director for Gov. Bill Walker.

She is at a Range 28 R, which makes her one of the highest-paid workers in the State of Alaska payroll.

Pitney was chosen over other applicants by the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee.

Pitney was the author of the failed “Walker payroll tax,” which never got off the ground with the largely tax-averse Legislature. She and Walker presented a budget to the Legislature in November of 2018, that they declared was “balanced.”

[Read: Walker presents final budget to Chamber of Commerce.]

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s team came on board, and said it was anything but balanced, and that it would require massive cuts to balance. In the end, the governor was bargained down on those cuts, and the next budget is still $1.5 billion short of funds to balance with incoming revenues.

Pitney, a highly political pick, is still engaged with the Walker Administration; she was photographed on social media this weekend at a going away party for the Walkers, who are relocating to Boston so that Walker can teach a class at Harvard University.

Pat Pitney, tall person on the left, is the new legislative finance director replacing David Teal, who retired.

The Legislative Budget and Audit Committee is made up of six Democrats and six Republicans, even though Republicans outnumber Democrats, 3 to 2 in the Legislature. The Senate has 13 Republicans, 7 Democrats, and the House has 23 Republicans, and 17 Democrats/undeclareds.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Wow no State employee is worth that much, I’m sorry. I’d say somewhere along the lines of 175 k would make her a good living up here.

    • Agreed

  • Way overpaid!

  • The question in my mind isn’t whether 225k is too much compensation for a State Employee but rather what benefit her salary will yield to the State. If there is someone out there capable of cutting out say 300 million of frivolous spending in one Budget cycle for example then her salary would be justified. Sadly , it is doubtful that her tenure will accomplish the above. She is most likely a tool for supporting bigger expenditures and her work will likely result in a push for more revenue…

    • You have no clue to her job, older. She is replacing David Teal who had held that nonpartisan job for over 20 years. Do you think Teal was some kind of tool for bigger expenditures, also? She is hired by Legislature, that consists of both parties, and her job is to keep them (Legislators) informed of all things “budget.”

      • I’m not sure the past 20 years is exactly the benchmark for constraining expenditures.

        If David Teal’s job was to keep the legislature informed of all things “budget,” then he either failed in his job for the past 20 years or our legislators have failed to hear what the Legislative Finance director they paid $225,000 per year to tell them. Neither scenario is a good look for our state.

        • Four-flusher, Teal’s job was to inform legislature as to what was possible and available based on his knowledge of budget items. His was advisory but only to what was possible-the decisions were clearly up to Legislature. Frankly, I’ve never heard a single word uttered that he didn’t do his job until now. And sour grapes is no argument. You don’t like the situation we are in but it’s hardly the fault of the guy who informs the people who make the decisions of what is possible. That’s his job, to be non-partisan, and his job is not to constrain expenditures. That’s your problem-you don’t know what his job is.

      • Pretty sure we have a one party legislature now yank.

        • It does appear that Dunleavy’s party is collapsing. The upcoming recall vote will tell the tale, for sure.

  • The cost of running a corrupt shadow government is not cheap.

    • Yes, one authorized by a corrupt Legislature & It’s staff to maintain the bloated Government!

  • Finding the silver cloud in this dark sky ~ Corrupt, PFD stealing Bill Walker & his family are moving out of Alaska! Good riddance to bad rubbish. I wonder if Alaska citizens have been giving him hell for what he did during his tenure? Boston is a great, liberal place for him to retire. I feel bad for the socialist rubbish he will probably be “teaching” at Harvard, but he will fit right in with them, there.

    • A boot out is my send-off .

  • No wonder our State is almost bankrupt. Salaries are way too top heavy and there should be a forensic audit of all divisions of State government. I’ll bet there would be a lot of inflated salaries found.

  • Bill, you make my point for me. Mr. Teal served the Legislative gang during some huge budget increases while this woman served Mr. Walker. As I recall, the only reductions made of any importance during her time with Walker were cuts to the Capital Budget, needed projects like the South Eagle River Bridge were shelved along with Mr. Walker’s courageous halving of the PFD.

    I don’t recall any cuts beyond that, Bill. A great place to start is in Legislative Affairs, it wasn’t too long ago when elected officials didn’t have an office or a staff, the desk on the floor where one voted from was your office.

    As for all things “budget,” one can know the numbers on a sheet and not know the value that those numbers represent. Especially when one is a public employee!

    • I’ve already mentioned this above Older, but Teal’s job had nothing to do with cutting the budget. I’m unsure why it is that you feel that he should have been parcel to such a thing but someone is always looking for a scapegoat when things go south.
      Teal’s job is only to inform the entire Legislature of what is available and what is possible within those categories. You aren’t the only one who is out to lunch on his duties but just think for a second. How long do you think someone in his capacity would last if he fancied cutting (or increasing for that matter) the budget.
      Teal was employed by the legislature and, like those legislators he was a public employee, but he had no horse in the race.

      • So then contrary to your comments above his job wasn’t to inform the legislature on all things budget, just to inform them of what they wanted to hear, is that what you are now claiming?

        • Yank hiked to the mountain top to consult the yogi and asked “what is the secret to a happy and successful life”?

          The yogi replied, “never argue with the arrogant and opinionated”.

          “I disagree” said Yank.

          “You are correct” said the yogi.

  • Sleaze Bag Walker is still trying to get into the action because he is a sore loser and he enjoys using anyone at any level.

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