It seems that Fairhaven taxpayers may be especially on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars due to the state’s cutting of the Quinn Bill.
Fairhaven adopted the Quinn Bill back in 2001 which appears to have specific language making the town NOT liable for any funding not provided for by the state. However, some prior court rulings thanks to some apparently ambiguous language may put the town on the hook according to Executive Secretary Jeffrey W. Osuch.
Any decision should come by next Monday, September 28.
FAIRHAVEN – Selectmen will issue a decision Sept. 28 on a police union grievance on educational incentive payments that was discussed in executive session on Sept. 14.
The NEPBA Local 64 filed the grievance after July 1 when police officers with associate’s degrees or higher saw their pay reduced after state funding for the Quinn Bill program was cut. Discussion had originally been scheduled for open session, but was done executive session, at a suggestion from town counsel.
However, that doesn’t make it an easy answer for the town. Ambiguous wording in legislation and prior court rulings on related matters have led some to suggest cities and towns across the state could still be held liable for the additional funding.
In Fairhaven, that could mean an additional bill of approximately $84,000 if the town were to pick up the state’s portion of the program. The state is funding approximately 16 percent of its share, which this year totals about $100,000, according to Osuch.
Hey SJFern, I believe that your our resident Fairhaven resident/finance wizard… any thoughts?