How much does an errand boy cost the Mayor (and you)?

The Mayor, who makes around $40k a year for her part-time position, has an “Executive assistant to the City Commission” whom she sends out to get her mail at the vacant building.

Kery Gray got two promotions this year. One on Jan. 5, 2009, and another on Jan. 26, now with a salary of $89,294.40. He makes double what the Mayor makes and she has him running errands for her.

They pay the Secretary to the executive assistant, Erin Jefferies, $40,102.40 and there is at least one more legislative aide, Bobbi Dillon, making $41,870.

I understand that this country has CEO’s making more than the President, and that the Governor makes about the same as what we pay the city manager, but, at least all these people have full-time positions.

If the Mayor would do her job properly, as a member of a Board of Directors, instead of trying to be the City Manager, we would have more money to pay for enforcing laws (the number one priority established by the Priority Boards last year- a test question that none of the incumbents knew the answer to last night).

Apparently while heading into a $17 million hole, a whole bunch of middle management, salaried employees got “step” increases in their paychecks while the city was crying poor to the unions.

Is this an example of the “tight financial” controls that “the team” touts from its secret monthly meeting? They disguised the raises as “step increases” to hide the facts from the people.

But then again, we’d never have known about the overpaid errand boy, except for a porcelain pig in a blanket.

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Nan’s having a party, for her friends and family at the first fourJeffCivil Servants Are People, TooDrexel Dave SparksDavid Esrati Recent comment authors
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Jennifer Alexander
Jennifer Alexander

I’m about ready to loose my lunch after reading this post, what the hell is wrong with all of you in Dayton that she’s probably going to get re-elected ? 


The union employees are still getting their step increases, too. The “pay freeze” for the unions and middle-management didn’t stop the step increases. Why that is, I don’t know, but it’s the way it went down.

Drexel Dave Sparks

Step increases are seniority based pay increases, i.e. you get paid a higher basic rate every year.
Cost of living increases are not the same thing as a step increase. Cost of living increases are given across the board, and negotiated in contracts, as are the step levels of seniority.

Drexel Dave Sparks

It’s not a question of semantics. They really are two completely different things.

Drexel Dave Sparks

The people I work with need every penny they get, trust me. My paycheck gets smaller every year. If you want to look it up downtown, be my guest. It’s not impressive. Nobody is going to save the city money by cutting the meager salaries of classified civil service employees (who usually make in the range of $10-15 per hour, and have a huge among taken out of their checks).
Now, the executive assistant salary, now that’s just loco.
I believe you should reward people for loyalty and continued service.
The only way you will get rid of any seniority based pay is to do away with the city’s unions, and that’s about as likely to happen as Crackhead Phil becoming city manager.

Civil Servants Are People, Too
Civil Servants Are People, Too

The step increase was essentially canceled out (and then some) because all of those same employees are losing holiday pay for several national holidays in 2009 and 2010.   The government says you have to take Labor Day off, and now their fair city stops paying for it.
Trust me, most of them would rather work on Labor Day and save their paychecks for their families.
As for the “errand boys” – who do you think is taking all the unpleasant phone calls from every irate citizen,  managing all the tedious paperwork, and working late nights after every public meeting?   Hint – it’s not an elected official.
The folks on the front lines earn every cent.   If you want to emphasize that the position of “mayor” is a part time job, then don’t criticize the people who are doing the work in the trenches.
If you are very, very lucky, some of them may end up working for you.

Drexel Dave Sparks

My question to David, and all of other candidates is…What are you going to do to see that the paychecks of honest hard working civil servants at the very least do not continue to shrink every year?

Drexel Dave Sparks

You didn’t answer the question. Now that we know that you don’t like it when good civil servants checks are cut, what would you do as Commissioner to stop that from happening? We get yearly raises that are axed out by health insurance increases every year. My take home money is less now than it was five years ago, but if you look at my rate of pay, it looks like I now make more.
This is where you can get union members on your side. Show them how you will stop the bleeding from their pockets, because the leadership certainly isn’t doing anything to stop the flow.

Drexel Dave Sparks

It’s not that I didn’t “feel” that you didn’t answer the question. You honestly did not offer one concrete proposal to how you as a commissioner will stop the flood of money from employee pockets. That’s all. It’s a common phenomenon, and one that needs to be addressed, because hard working on the street civil servants get sick of the criticism they get for these mythical giant salaries, when in reality, many of us are losing money every year.
If you want to get elected, there’s nothing wrong with having union members on your side. They run the city, and are exponentially influential. McLin understands that basic tenet. Secondly, it’s certainly not in any way in conflict with moving the city forward. In fact, not getting them on your side and believing you are going to move anything forward is like the coach of the Dallas Cowboys thinking he’s going to move the team foward without the players on his side.
And in all reality, you won’t be able to move the city forward without them. They will do the sweat and blood work that will allow you to accomplish what you want as a leader.
Working people are special. Too bad they aren’t treated like it in America. In progressive places they are.

Drexel Dave Sparks

Also, another thing. You do have access to all of that pay information, etc…it’s all public record.
Union contracts, all the nitty gritty of who’s working how many hours, who’s getting overtime…
Take care.

Drexel Dave Sparks

I like the way your thinking is going. :-)
It’s why we need people we all can have a back and fourth with without everything being personal political drama, which as far as I’m concerned, y’all can save fo’ ya’ mama.
Why can’t the union members themselves elect team leaders in departments? The team leader would make the same as the other folks, but work in more of a supervisory role, with measurable goals that they have to account for to a central supervisor. More like platoon leaders in that sense. In the public work space I’m employed at, we have had something like 19 different directors of the department in 20 years, and to be honest and certainly no personal disrespect to the man who holds the position now or those before him, the job that we would get done everyday just as well if there was a tiny management structure (one-person), and team leaders. Nothing we do requires one to have a PhD, but we certainly employ them. It’s pretty basic work. Simple: go from point a to point b, keep order and be safe. Yet, we employ a big bureaucracy with lots of programs to make it all seem very complex.
Additionally, it would empower  the people who actually do the work.
I hear you on the FOIA requests. It’s a huge job to keep up on if you decide to, and no bureaucracy in America is user friendly on the topic. The city of Dayton certainly isn’t unique in this way. I would love to see all city records go digital, with archival in databases that would be open to everyone to search from the web so there really isn’t a need for FOIA requests.


When the Fire Department agreed to a wage cut, we agreed to “help” the city and not get our contracted 3% pay raise.  We also “agreed” to give back holiday pay, a total of 4 paid days, it could have been more, I don’t remember at the moment.  We also persisted that step “increases” not be affected, not as a hidden way to give raises, once you are at top step, your done, other than contracted raises, but it was not fair to freeze a rookies pay at $9.00/hr and ask him to take a freeze on his expected and contracted raise AND ask him to give up several holidays that were agreed upon in his contract.  $9.00 to run into a burning building, really?  Step raises are etched in stone, they are not hidden from anyone, there isn’t a way to add a step for someone so that they get a raise, at least not in the fire department there isn’t.  I cannot say the same for the city middle managers as I have heard rumor that they indeed DID get an extra “step” so that they actually receive over a 4% raise.    So don’t confuse contracted step increases for the rank and file as a way to hide raises for directors and middle manager, they are hardly the same.


[…] Clerk of Commission- this position was set up as a perk for being a loyal servant, since Mr. Gray used to go to Rhine’s “house” to pick up campaign donations on city time- we know this because of the porcelain pig/bomb […]