I did a double take Monday night when I saw the story about Lubbock County Commissioners hiring a new medical examiner - a decision they were forced to make after Texas Tech stopped offering autopsy service.
What shocked me was the nearly $450,000 dollar salary. That's nearly a half a million dollars a year for a medical examiner.
Consider this, the Lubbock County Sheriff makes $77,000, the Lubbock County District Attorney makes $135,000, the Lubbock School Superintendent $210,000, the City Manager $225,000 and the Chancellor of Texas Tech University makes $412,000.
After doing a little research, I learned that the medical examiner in Austin is paid $282,716.46, and Lubbock County's medical examiner will be paid $450,000? Is this the most important job in town? Are medical examiners in such high demand? Is this the best deal taxpayers could get? I'm not sure, but it just looks out of whack to me and it appears to be a done deal.
Going forward, commissioners should find a way to offset this huge expense to benefit taxpayers - contract with other counties to pay some of this salary or perhaps start another partnership with Texas Tech.
I've said before that politicians are bad at managing money. I hope Lubbock County can prove me wrong on this one.
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