Coming from Lawrence, MA, I really wish I made this story up.
A recent investigation by the Eagle Tribune revealed the chief of the city’s leading anti-poverty agency makes $144,641 a year working only 15 hours a week.
Phillip Laverriere has been the executive director of the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council since 1974. The agency covers a wide array of programs, serves 35,000 clients annually and receives $29 million from federal and state money. You’d think Laverriere would be a busy man, but he spends most of his afternoons in the Elks Lodge smoking cigars.
Laverriere openly admits that he is rarely in his own office, and adds that it would be unnacceptable for one of his employees to spend so little time at work. He has a hard time justifying his own relaxed schedule:
When asked why it is OK for him to spend most of his days at the Elks, Laverriere said, “I don’t know. It’s an honest answer. I don’t know.”
Laverriere defends himself by saying he works weekends and sometimes holds meetings at the Elks Lodge. He claims to have an indescribably heavy workload, saying “How the hell can I explain what I do? It’s so damn much.”
It’s a shame to see the lack of dedicated leadership in Lawrence. With a relatively absent mayor, a struggling economy, and problems with crime, the city needs more from its leaders.