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Teacher to be replaced on days he meets as commissioner

November 14, 2006|by TARA REILLY

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Soon-to-be Washington County Commissioner Terry Baker won't be paid by the Board of Education for days off to carry out his commissioner duties.

"I don't receive pay when I'm taking care of the county's business," Baker said Monday.

Baker, 50, teaches carpentry at Washington County Technical High School.

As part of the course work, students build one house a year.

Baker will begin his first term as a county commissioner after a swearing-in ceremony Dec. 5.

He received the second-highest number of votes in the Nov. 7 general election.

The commissioners typically meet every Tuesday for full-day meetings.

While conducting county work, Baker said he will be replaced by a "qualified instructor" to teach his students.

Baker said he has discussed his county government role with school administrators.

"The concern for the administrators was to make sure that we have a qualified instructor," Baker said. "My kids aren't going to be sitting around doing book work. The kids will be doing their carpentry work."

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No one was available at the Board of Education to comment late Monday afternoon.

Baker said he is working with the Associated Builders & Contractors to make sure the fill-in instructor has the appropriate background to teach carpentry.

He said he's been asked a number of times about the pay issue.

"That's a legitimate concern for the taxpayer," Baker said.

The commissioners earn $30,000 a year. The president earns $3,000 more. A commissioner's term is four years.

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