Tuesday, July 3, 2012

ZAP! #91: Contractual Fireworks

ZAP! #91
     As staff of the CCR celebrates Independence Day, we thought it important to acknowledge what has made this country and Irving really great for some folks...the bureaucrat’s contract.

     Yes, without a bureaucrat’s contract, our tax rate would be lower, tax money would not be foolishly spent, Water and Sewer rates would be reasonable and we could all be eating hot dogs in McDougalville (Heritage Crossing) and celebrating the fireworks display at a financially flawed Entertainment Center.  

     To reflect how a motivated and prior city council felt about a bureaucrat’s contract, the following items relate to the city manager’s agreement that was enacted June 12, 2008 and signed by ex-mayor Gears.  Of course, this contract probably isn’t as good as the one you have at your place of employment.  But then, you are probably not a bureaucrat!
  • Agreement is for five years and will automatically renew for three years unless notification is provided
  • A retainage fee (bonus) of $30,000/year for a total of $150,000 in five years
  • If terminated by the city council, severance pay equal to 15 months salary, plus one month for each year of service up to 18 months maximum
  • Base salary of $230,000 (later amended to $246,384 in 2009 and signed by ex-mayor Gears) plus longevity pay
  • City loaned the manager $150,000 for purchasing a house
  • City will pay the manager $41,210.86 per year as a housing assistance grant
  • City paid membership at the La Cima Club
  • City paid membership at the Sports Club at the Four Seasons
  • City paid insurance coverage -- life, accident, health, vision, dental, disability income and major medical
  • City pays premiums for a $5,000,000 term key man life insurance policy
  • City paid annual physical exam
  • City pays premiums for term life insurance policy of $150,000
  • City pays manager’s contributions to the TMRS retirement program
  • City pays $37,000/year into the manager’s 401(a) retirement savings plan
  • City pays dues and subscriptions for national, regional, state and local associations
  • City budgets and pays for professional and official travel and meetings
  • Use of a city credit card for expenses of a non-personal and general nature 
     Some contend that the city manager makes more than the president of the United States.  This might be accurate if comparing the city manager’s salary and benefits with only the president’s base pay.  Now, if the council decides to become even more generous with the city manager’s future compensation and benefit package by providing a private jet and secret service protection, then both might be on the same page. 

     Stay tuned to this issue.  The city council will have to consider action on this agreement in the very near future.  The wire to trip the automatic extension clause of this agreement with the city manager is approaching faster than a tax hike for Water and Sewer rates. 

     Will it actually be tax payers who are tripped...again?