So much for three votes. McLin gives Young raise singlehandedly.

The rule is, it takes three votes to pass a resolution. It also, is supposed to take three votes to make a decision to settle a lawsuit, purchase real estate or all those other things the Dayton City Commission has purview over.

Apparently- that’s all horse hockey.

I did a FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) request of Tom Biedenharn to see the paperwork that granted former City Manager Rashad Young a retroactive raise.

Here is his response, which, due to the bad resolution of the attached PDF- has to make the case:

The Mayor has traditionally been the only person to actually sign paperwork relating to compensation items for the City Manager.  This was true even before Mayor McLin’s tenure.  So in response to your request, attached is the form Mayor McLin signed regarding the step equivalent payment that Rashad received along with other employees.  Her signature is in the “City Manager” block on the attached form. Rashad’s step equivalent was retro to January 1st because that is his anniversary date.

I’m not even changing the name of the PDF that he sent: DOC001.pdf DOC001

The next question is what else has been done- single-handedly- and what should happen?

I believe the Mayor acted illegally in this matter. If any other commissioners knew, they also acted illegally. The head of HR should also be questioned, for not requiring 3 signatures- as should someone in payroll.

Because the raise was not given by three votes, it is null and void, and should be collected from Mr. Young. Without showing a signed resolution with three signatures, heads should roll.

Maybe this kind of action explains why the Mayor is able to raise over a hundred-thousand dollars for her campaign kitty- because she has the ability, to singlehandedly hand out raises and who knows what else.

I’m asking all you smart people out there- isn’t this the job of the County Prosecutor, Mathias Heck- to investigate and prosecute other politicians for criminal acts. Why is it my job to do all the investigations around here?

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24 Responses

  1. Gary Staiger November 23, 2009 / 6:33 pm
    What’s the dollar amount involved here?
     
    Do you have  the exact regulation/ordinance that specifies the 3 vote requirement?
     
    I don’t see how the city law office or the prosecutors office can stand by and not investigate this.
     
     
     
     
  2. Gary Staiger November 23, 2009 / 6:35 pm
    Why is it my job to do all the investigations around here?
    Sheriff Esrati

  3. Will Brooks November 23, 2009 / 6:45 pm
    Well, maybe it’ll work for our benefit when Gary is in there. I’m sure it will take three for him…lol
  4. David Esrati November 23, 2009 / 7:40 pm

    @Gary S. It’s in the charter. Fundamental- 3 votes. End of story.

  5. Gary Staiger November 23, 2009 / 7:42 pm
    @David,
     
    Actually, with what you have presented I think this story is just starting to unfold…
  6. Sarah November 23, 2009 / 9:26 pm
    @David E.
    What everyone in town HOPES & PRAYS for is that Mat Heck will get Greg Lockhart’s recently vacant position at the Fed level.

    Like the military, promotions in and out of County Govt’ are not always about doing a good job but rather getting a problem out of your hair or moving up the political food-chain.

    Mathias has been a problem for YEARS.  I have sat on 2 juries (talk about bad mo-jo): 

    One a rape trial where the prosecutor YELLED at the victim (uh – that is helping how??).  

    The other was where a black man (victim) & a white man (defendant) got in fight – the prosecutor never did establish who hit who first.  5 days (yep – five days) of trial for a 30 minute drunken brawl!  I think we were supposed to side with the victim (wonder where that racial bias come from in town – look at the court house). 

    This is how my tax dollars are being spent in court???  It was readily apparent that the victim had violent (un-medicated) mental health issues that were obvious during testimony – why weren’t they OBVIOUS to Heck’s office?  Hell the bailiff had to remove the “victim” twice.  He should have been sent to a mental ward or psychiatric care.  Nope he got to testify at the trial where the defendant could have gone to jail for 5+ years.  And the female prosecutor just couldn’t figure out why she lost? Are you kidding me?

    No the prosecutor doesn’t get to “pick the victim” BUT they do get to pick what gets prosecuted.  How many times have citizens called on a drug house or an absent slum lord or a prostitute/pimp that just won’t go away?  Heck’s office has made a mastery of ignoring the nuisance crimes (the ones that make citizens LEAVE Dayton) and glamorizes the trivial (WOW I got 2 guns off the street today…let’s have a press conference!). 
    Anything to have a 100% WIN rate.  Not real hard when you never prosecute anything difficult or for that matter anything at all.  Or worse, pander to the lowest denominator – race and socio-economic class – in order to win.

    He and his wife I might add give “friend” incentives to the worst offenders (ask Debbie Lieberman – the Honorable Cindy Heck & Debbie are NEIGHBORS and friends after all!).  What would Debbie have gotten if she killed someone while drunk driving?  Additional community service?  Maybe a fine?
    I would actually prefer less prominent photos of Debbie at the County’s main web site (at the very least)!  Hasn’t anyone told Debbie that the black- kohl-encrusted-eyeliner is so 1980’s? Guess not…

    Try talking to the citizens instead of treating us like imbeciles.  Try listening and advocating for us instead of against us and making sure that you get re-elected?

    Keep it up bud – because I guarantee that this past election is the very last time that you run UNOPPOSED.
     

  7. Shortwest Rick November 23, 2009 / 9:57 pm
    If the Commission voted to approve ‘step pay’ for Rashad, the document signed by the Mayor would be valid and legal:

    § 49. The City Manager shall receive such salary as may be fixed by ordinance of the Commission.

    § 40. The Commission shall be judge of the election and qualificatons of its members. A majority of all members elected shall constitute a quorum to do business. The affirmative vote of a majority of the members elected to the Commission shall be necessary to adopt any ordinance or resolution. The vote upon the passage of all ordinances and upon the adoption of such resolutions as the Commission by its rules shall prescribe, shall be taken by “Yea” and “Nay” and entered upon the journal. Every ordinance or resolution passed by the Commission shall be signed by the Mayor or 2 members,

     
     
     

  8. David Esrati November 23, 2009 / 10:12 pm

    @shortwest rick

    There is no signed ordinance- at least that is what Biedenharn is telling me.

    Lumping Rashad’s pay approval in with the rest of the pay raises – which we were lead to believe was Rashad’s doing on his own- is not an excuse.

    McLin signed off. She violated the law. Thanks for digging the exact text out- I didn’t have time.

  9. Shortwest Rick November 23, 2009 / 10:23 pm
    Ahhh,  David,  you are correct..

    § 41. Each proposed ordinance or resolution shall be introduced in written or printed form, and shall not contain more than one subject, which shall be clearly stated in the title; but general appropriation ordinances may contain the various subjects and accounts for which moneys are to be appropriated. The enacting clause of all ordinances passed by the Commission shall be, “Be it ordained by the Commission of the City of Dayton.” The enacting clause of all ordinances submitted by the initiative shall be, “Be it ordained by the people of the City of Dayton.”

  10. Shortwest Rick November 23, 2009 / 10:49 pm
    @Sarah
    Last time I did jury duty it was a domestic violece, a common law couple, the defendant admitted that when the victim physically attacted him he slapped her trying to get her away, she then threw the microwave at him and chased him out the back door with a butcher knife. The victim then testified she had no idea why the police reports said that he beat her down, it never happened and they had since gotten back together.  We the jury deliberated for two hours before we all agreed they deserved each other and sent them home together. It does seem the prosecuter should have consulted with the victim about her pending testimony before they dragged 50 potential jurors down there and burned up our entire day watching the prosecutor dancing around waiving police reports while the victim looked at him like he was a fool.
  11. Civil Servants Are People, Too November 23, 2009 / 11:33 pm
    A little digging on Dayton’s website shows an ordinance which authorizes salaries for a number of professional positions.   Skip to the last couple pages.:
    http://www.cityofdayton.org/cco/Commission%20Agendas/2009/02-04-09%20Agenda.pdf
     
    It does not include the City Manager’s salary, but does include this line under several of the executive level positions:
     

    “The Mayor may adjust the actual salary of ________[position] …. unless the Commission otherwise establishes the salary by a majority vote.”

     
    So presumably, if there is a similar ordinance somewhere for the City Manager’s salary, it might say the same thing.   Right?     If so, they would be covered legally.   Like this one:
     
    http://cityofdayton.org/cco/Commission%20Agendas/2006/11-29-06Agenda.pdf
     
    Except that it actually says….

    “The City Manager shall recieve…. every year…. an increase…. equal to the average base salary increase…. received by the 5 collective bargaining units….”  (abbreviated)

     
    The ordinance was approved by Commission.   Unions got a step increase.   He is entitled to the same.  Someone has to to sign the paperwork.    The other ordinance says the Mayor has authority in similar situations.   The city says that the Mayor signs it by tradition.
     
    Could someone have required 3 signatures as a formality?  Sure.   Should they have changed the ordinance to be consistent with other executive positions?   Perhaps.    However,  it appears to me that Dayton followed the intent of the law.
     
    Now, should they change that pay structure to account for the declining revenues?   Perhaps, but the manager’s pay is a budgetary issue, not a legal issue.      Thus making this post another  unfounded accusation against public servants.
     
    Have a nice day!
     

  12. David Esrati November 23, 2009 / 11:53 pm

    @CSAPT

    Let’s get a few things straight-

    1. You are working with what most would consider “insider information” since the resolutions that you link to- aren’t machine readable (ADA compliant) and therefore not searchable. If anyone of us wanted to find them- good luck.
    2. These were passed as an “emergency ordinance” – a method that makes sure the public won’t have time for analysis or comment. Also- passed in 2009, as if we should just start ignoring the charter- because, well- Rhine wants to be able to pay her City Manager who buys her lunch and dinner more.
    3. There is ZERO connection between the performance of the City Manager and the “step increases”- and there should be no linkage what so ever. The City Manager works purely at the will of the commission- and the pay should be set by a majority of the commission- or what we have is a farce.

    It’s time to realize that your smugness only clearly demonstrates the extent of the cultural dysfunction that runs through city hall.

  13. Civil Servants Are People, Too November 24, 2009 / 12:31 am
    Hello again!   There was no insider information.  I only know what I read online.  I used simple search terms on Dayton’s website until I found something relevant, and then searched again using a new word or phrase.   It’s not hard.   The 2009 salary ordinance appears to be an regular budget resolution that was basically the same year after year.  There were others just like it.
     
    I’m not saying the policy is right or wrong, I’m just saying they followed the law as it was written.   The Commission voted to approve his appointment and his salary, including the step increase.   So there was nothing tricky about that.
     
    The emergency thing, I’ll concede.  It appears to be a common practice.   That is a reasonable point to bring up.
     
    If you want to claim the Manager was paid too much or the policy was wrong, that is another issue.    Go right ahead.   Just don’t say this one was done ‘illegally’ (your word, not mine).
     
    If being right in this case makes me “smug” then so be it.    Name-calling is to be expected around here, apparently.  Somebody has stand up to all this government bashing.   It’s not right.
     
     
  14. David Esrati November 24, 2009 / 6:43 am

    @CSAPT

    Oh boy, you “got me”- you’ve found all kinds of little arcane details and rules- that may account for the Mayor’s actions. You are “Inspector Gotcha” of policy.

    Let me put this in simple perspective- the people of Dayton (who are your true employers) believe that:

    1. We have a city manager form of government, where the City Manager reports to a board of 5 directors (the City Commission) and it requires three votes to direct him/her to do something.
    2. That while facing a huge budget crisis, it was not the time to give people making over $100K a year raises.
    3. That the City Commission follows the charter, and State laws (such as the “sunshine laws”) and tries to do so in a way that clearly steers to the side of safety on such issues, with appropriate documentation to justify and fufil their public duties.

    Instead, we have some mid-level bureaucrat, hiding behind a nom de guerre, justifying their actions with arcane rules and regs passed, without the proper discussion and hearings, by the very same people we are questioning the actions of.

    In the big picture: they FAIL and you continue to support their actions even though you probably agree that the perception is more important than reality. You are part of the cultural FAIL that exists in the dysfunctional organization that “runs” our city.

    Just in the fact that you don’t or can’t sign your name, you send a message that there is blowback on whistle blowers. I’ve been taking the heat for pointing out their illegal meetings for years, being called a heretic for questioning their actions- yet the first thing the Mayor Elect says is that there will be an end to them.

    Change is a coming, one way or another. Get used to it.

    There was a massive FAIL in this instance. I’d be embarrassed to defend them on this.

  15. Brad November 24, 2009 / 8:29 am
    CSAPT-

    You, along with a seemingly endless amount of people in the media, and a lot of fellow City employees, simply have no grasp, STILL, of what the hell a “step raise” is… I’m embarrassed that you work for the City, yet somehow still don’t “get it.”

    Ok, attempt to follow me here… a firefighter’s salary for 2008 was $58,115.20.  But I sure as hell didn’t make that much last year.  Not even close.  Why???? Because as a cost savings to the City negotiated over the years, newer members like myself have to go through 7 years of “steps” just to GET TO the firefighter’s salary.

    So a firefighter with 10 years on the job didn’t get a single solitary penny for a raise for next year, because we agreed to a WAGE FREEZE.  But some supervisor in Human Resources with the same 10 years got over a 1 percent raise, somehow named a “step raise” or “step equivalent” by the City…. WTF????!!!!!!

    There’s absolutely NO SUCH THING as a step raise for managers and mid-managers.  PERIOD.

    The newest, youngest bargaining unit members that haven’t yet REACHED the salary of their profession still got their small increment to eventually get them there, but that is ENTIRELY different.

    I am simply dumbfounded as to why the local media, and even some City employees, can’t seem to wrap their mind around this concept.

    This “step raise” was simply wrong.  It sets an absolutely horrific example by the Managers and Mid-Managers.  It won’t be overlooked.

    Rashad and the rest of the managers should have gotten the equivalent raise of the base salary of the bargaining units, which in the case of the firefighters, was ABSOLUTE ZERO.

  16. Drexel Dave Sparks November 24, 2009 / 9:09 am
    What Brad wrote. The very language of using “step increase” for managers is blatantly dishonest. That the DDN didn’t catch this just shows the ignorance of the system they claim to cover.
  17. Brian November 24, 2009 / 3:07 pm
    @CSAPT:   Thank YOU for being here and participating.  I know it’s not easy, but I’d rather have an anonymous insider here than not….
     
  18. David Lauri November 24, 2009 / 7:50 pm
    I wonder if Mayor Leitzell will be über-cautious about signing any forms lest the proper legislation hasn’t been enacted beforehand. Bless Rhine’s heart — one thing losing this election will bring her is some freedom; I hope she enjoys her retirement.
  19. Will Brooks November 25, 2009 / 10:34 am
    It always intrigues me when the justification for ethically questionable actions are subtle nuances in policy/law that have been stretched beyond their obvious intent. Yet, when you take a step back (no pun intended) the step increases are so obviously wrong on so many levels. CSPAT – I don’t really know how you can defend something like this. Personally, as a Dayton citizen who runs a business and sometimes struggles hand to mouth in this economy, I am OUTRAGED at the morally corrupt actions of those in city hall.
     
    Do you guys in city hall grasp the fact that we are nearly $20,000,000 in the hole next year? But like hungry animals fighting for a space at the feeding trough, our top level management in city hall find a way to gorge themselves while others are facing layoffs, pay cuts, wage freezes and the like. How on earth can you defend them? Is this what you are here to do? Who sent you? …Am I to believe that you are a concerned bureaucrat who just happened along and started commenting here?   I stand in doubt. Personally I am beginning to think that David E is scaring the heck out of people in city hall with his reporting and perhaps you are here to counter that effort? Well, enough of my silly conspiracy theories, we all know that the government has our best interest at heart in all their dealings.
     
    On the other hand, I would be proud of city hall leadership if they were actually concerned enough to make the same sacrifices they require of their new hires and subordinates. And to address your concern over “Govt Bashing”. The “press” in America was initially intended to report government actions and dealings. Can you tell me one mainstream media news outlet that honestly does that at any level of govt? It’s up to citizens to report it at this stage because yellow journalism is the “story du jour”.
  20. Gene November 25, 2009 / 12:18 pm
    Maybe Gary can take the lead and rather than get paid $44k plus he can knock off a couple of thousand to show government is not greedy. Doubt he will do that though.
  21. Will Brooks November 25, 2009 / 12:19 pm
    @Gene – I would love to see that.

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