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What Is The State Paying The County's Leaders?
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:20AM / Friday, February 24, 2012
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — What is the reward for being among Berkshire County's leadership? With the state's Open Checkbook, it's easy to find out exactly how much taxpayers are coughing up to state employees.

In an effort for transparency, the state puts all of its employees' salaries online. The program is browsable by departments, job titles, names and salaries. The system was last updated on Feb. 5 with last year's income figures.

iBerkshires spent some time browsing Open Checkbook and pulled out some of the county's higher ranking salaries.

Topping our list is Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts President Mary Grant, who earned $214,483 last year. Grant is in her 11th year as president and is credited with turning the school around. In those years, she has racked up her fair share of awards and most recently claimed success in reeling in one of the state's largest investment in higher education ever for new Center for Science and Innovation.

The president of the county's other state-funded college, Berkshire Community College, cracks in at No. 2 with a salary of $182,100. Paul Raverta joined BCC in 2005 as interim president and was permanently appointed in 2008. He came into the college boasting 30 years of higher education experience and claims to have drawn in more than $10.8 million in grant funding to BCC.

Raverta retired in the beginning of the year and the county's third-highest earner is taking his place. Former Vice President and now interim President Ellen Kennedy earned a rate of $150,000 last year. Kennedy came to the college in 2008 to handle all of business-related functions such as budgeting, accounting and auditing and facilities management. She has managed multimillion dollar infrastructure repairs including the newest photovoltaic array that was installed using federal funds.

Outside of the college realm, District Attorney David Capeless takes the fourth position with a yearly salary of $148,843. He pops in just ahead of the county's court judges, who make $129,694 a year.

Toward the bottom of our list, which focused only on the leaders of the county's state organizations, is the Berkshire's Beacon Hill representation. State Sen. Benjamin Downing and Reps. Paul Mark, Gailanne Cariddi, William Pignatelli and Tricia Farley-Bouvier all earn a salary of $61,133.

Below is a list of the county's leaders but Open Checkbook goes beyond that and gives the salaries of every state employee.

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