Can the city really afford to pay for all the perks?
Holding the reins on the budget can sometimes be difficult. Reading the city manager’s contract, I sometimes wonder if the commissioners have forgotten the budget plight when handing out the perks. The city is trying to sell us on a tax increase, but it has sent the wrong message. The commissioners will always find money for expenditures while passing on the shortfall to the citizens. More staff and services will be reduced to accommodate the spending beyond the city’s capabilities.
The city doesn’t have money to keep a fire station open, but it can possibly buy back a city manager’s house costing anywhere up to $200,000 and then try to resell the house to get the money back. If the city manager can’t sell his house within four months, what makes the city think it can sell the house?
How does it look giving out incentives to the city manager while the rest of employees receive a measly 1.5 raise? The employees scraped the bottom of the barrel to come up with cuts to the budget and the city disregarded all of that when giving out a mind boggling incentive package to the new city manager.
It seems the contractual perks are getting way out of hand. Just recently, I read an article where a school superintendent in the area received a salary of $119,000 while collecting a nine percent raise over his three year term. The pay structure is out of control when school superintendents in this area are making as much as a city manager who has more duties and responsibilities than school superintendents. The schools will always pass the expenditure on to the taxpayer by asking for another operating levy to help pay for the perks.
I do wish the new city manager the very best, because the city has had its share of nonproductive city managers. Each time we lose a city manager, the city loses focus and needs to start all over again trying to catch up while getting nothing done in the meantime. The city employees have had to flex so much that it damages morale and productivity by not acquiring true leadership.
I hope with each city manager hired, that the person is going to be the one who will have the proven leadership to really make a difference. Our city deserves a leader who can accommodate both sides of the political fence, and who can give equal time to both the business people and residents while making Sandusky the very best that it can be.