Is Dayton broke? Or not?

The point of belt tightening seems to be lost on the former City Manager and the City Commission. When you are facing a $20 million hole, you don’t give pay raises- of any sort, pre-negotiated or not. It’s called living within your means- it’s called doing the right thing, it’s called avoiding layoffs later.

The unions are right, although, they should have considered eliminating raises as well, because, well, $20 million isn’t something you just find laying around.

The whole finger pointing, denial, and publicity just before the election is embarrassing.

Fasnacht produced a copy of a city personnel policy statement from July 2008 that said managers and executives are only eligible for merit increases.

“There are no designated steps in the salary ranges of executive, management and mid-management group employees,” according to the policy statement.

via Spokesman claims pay hikes are city policy.

And having a city spokesperson who can’t find the policy he’s citing?

Biedenharn said it is the city’s policy to give nonbargaining unit employees compensation similar to what union members receive. Of all 1,578 city employees represented by a bargaining unit, 446 got step increases totaling $762,958, city records show. All 379 managers got the “step equivalent” raises, including several on the job since the early 1980s.

Biedenharn said this policy was set by former City Manager Jim Dinneen around 2004, but he could not produce a public record to document the policy. .ibid

A professional organization doesn’t have these problems. It’s busy working on solving the problem, not arguing about the mistakes it’s made.

Looking over the list of people getting pay raises, I find it insulting that anyone getting paid over $100,000 is getting a raise right now, especially a blanket raise. And, if it’s true that former City Manager Rashad Young got a severance package or raise after announcing he’s leaving, all hope is lost.

And- does anyone else see some oddities in the list?

Wanda Smith, deputy director, police: $1,435.20 ($121,368)

Shelley Dickstein, assistant city manager: $1,414.40 ($121,014.40)

Richard S. Biehl, director of police: $1,393.60 ($117,873.60)

via Dayton officials defend nearly $300,000 in pay hikes for managers, executives.

The Chief makes less than the Deputy Director of Police (who is set to retire in the DROP program). The “Assistant city Manager in charge of “economic development” or “corporate welfare” as I prefer to call it, who spent over $2 million chasing the Kroger that never came got a raise?

And in tomorrows (Oct 28, 2009) Commission meeting, the city is still handing out your tax dollars to private enterprise under the heading of “Neighborhood grants:”

D.     Neighborhood Grants:

7.       Schwind Building Restoration Project, Inc. – Development Agreement – to enhance the built environment and facilitate redevelopment in connection with the Downtown Façade Improvement Program – Office of Economic Development.       $24,425.00

8.       Medwork, LLC – Development Agreement – for the relocation and expansion to the former Delphi office building located at 1435 Cincinnati Street – Office of Economic Development.       $100,000.00

10-28-09 Agenda.pdf (application/pdf Object).

Private companies are now “neighborhoods”- and you wonder what happened to money for neighborhood improvement? It’s time to stop handing your tax dollars to the “friends” of Rhine McLin and Commission. I applaud Bob Schiffler for his work on the Schwind building but giving the man $25K toward this project is just an extra free cherry on a chocolate sundae.

We’re facing serious financial problems in Dayton, yet, City Hall seems to be tackling yesterdays instead of working on tomorrows.

And as a last note to misguided priorities by the commission and the Montgomery County Democratic Party- the Dayton City Commission is endorsing the library levy at tomorrows session, but not Issue 4 for the Metroparks. If they believe in Regionalism, and in “Economic Development” – our Metroparks is one of our few outstanding selling features of our region. They should be supporting it. Correction 9:33 am they endorsed it back on Sept. 9th, 2009

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