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Quagmire by Peter Children

(Op-ed submitted by Peter Children)

Words are just words, until they’re put together, after which they can become powerful, influential, meaningful, enlightening, comforting, critical, educational, hurtful, warm,…..and the list goes on and on without end.

My favorite use of words is to reveal truths, to enlighten the hoi poli, to uncover plots that may or may not be legal, fair, or just, then again they might just straddle that fine line between right and wrong. Ninety-nine percent of the time what I write about deals mostly with morality and hypocrisy; people who profess to be one thing to the public and quite another when the lights go out. (Ref; Turncoat). Turncoat is a perfect example of what I am trying to say. It was Turncoat who devised the scheme to transfer the funds to the Miro-initiative program in increments under $10,000.00 at a time, so the Beer Drinker could then vote to break a tie. It was juvenile and childish. How many of you are aware his wife works…or volunteers at the Business Center that was to receive the funds? None of that is illegal; just hypocritical.

How much do you know about your City Hall? What about department heads? Did you know the Beer Drinker is in the processes of shuffling the deck in City Hall? Be advised at this point this is merely rumor and should be thought of only in that context. You have to understand, this one term mayor has illusions of job permanence and he needs to continually feed the beast. So….if something smells, rotten, it could be rotten. The current conjecture going around City Hall now is this; Human Resources will be taken from Tom Meyer and handed over to Kevin Jacobson the Finance Director. Then our esteemed City Attorney will be given the newly created title of Assistant City Manager. Sound good to you? Remember there are reasons for everything.

As an “outsider” but still a taxpayer, what do you think predicated this exchange? Why was it necessary? Now lets look at the money involved. City Attorney’s job pays $70,000.00, Human Resources pays $46,000.00 which gave Mr. Meyer a total of $116,000.00 yearly. Its been said his new salary as Assistant City Manager will be $43,000.00 or three thousand less than the Human Resources paid. When you’re in that wage level three thousand isn’t really a deal breaker. Now listen up; Kevin Jacobson who is set to assume the duties as head of Human Resources will only be paid $3,000.00 in addition to his current salary. Why? How many think its simply because he doesn’t render legal opinions for the Beer Drinker? How can there be a $43,000.00 discrepancy in this shift? Was Meyer being paid too much? Is Jacobson getting the shaft? What will Meyer do as Assistant City Manager…answer the phone maybe, there is already someone that does that. This is “your” money people that is being handed out and moved from pillar to post; lets hear your concerns.

Its been said that under our current City Attorney there have been more legal issues regarding employment than have ever been recorded in the past 40 years. This has resulted in monetary pay outs running into the thousands that this city has had to pay. One example, although not related to employment issues was the settlement paid to a local church. That was reported to be in the range of $85,000.00 plus fees for outside consul, both the lawyer for the church and the one this city hired to represent us in this action because our current $70,000.00 a year guy could not handle it. What’s going on here, is this a bad dream. I really don’t like to make this comparison but it would be like having an alcoholic managing a tavern or an addicted gambler running a casino. Are these people incompetent?

My opinion is this; I see this as political payoff’s. Added compensation for rendering favorable legal opinions whenever needed; but its only my opinion….something the constitution allows me. What’s your opinion?

Peter Children

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