When the Dayton Daily News gets it wrong: Dayton Development Coalition salaries

A letter went out today to the stakeholders of the Dayton Development Coalition- to correct an article by Lucas Sullivan at the Dayton Daily, which I wrote a post about: Dayton Development Coalition is out of touch

Turns out, what was printed as the “Base pay” for the CEO was the “Total Pay”- big difference, but, still puts the head of the DDC, with his small payroll, and limited responsibility ahead of both our county administrator and the Dayton City Manager- by a large factor. However, the public sector has a big problem with pay for performance, be it teachers salaries or city managers.
Here is the DDC letter:

MEMORANDUM TO; Dayton Development Coalition Members and Stakeholders
SUBJECT: Dayton Development Coalition Compensation Model

Dear Coalition Member and Stakeholders,
As you may know, on Sunday, the Dayton Daily News ran two articles concerning the Coalition’s plans for paying bonuses to employees. We wanted to share our thoughts with you on the issue.

Consistent with common business practices, the Coalition’s compensation model is built upon a total compensation package for our employees that provide each with a fixed salary, plus variable compensation (i.e. performance incentive bonus to which the Dayton Daily News is referring) which is paid to employees for meeting performance goals.

The variable compensation model is used by the Coalition because we believe it is important for employees to be incented and rewarded for delivering results; it is a model common in private industry. The alternative would be to pay all employees their total compensation as a base salary regardless of the results they deliver.

The compensation of the CEO and two other senior positions have been reviewed by an independent consultant based on a nationwide analysis of like organizations and found to be consistent with those organizations. All awards of performance incentive pay must be approved by the compensation committee of the board of trustees. Contrary to what was reported, we are still in the review process for 2010 results and no decisions on perforn1ance incentive pay have been made.
The article also erroneously reported the CEO’s base salary for 2009 as $257,000, leading readers to extrapolate that his total compensation was higher. In a news story in July, the Dayton Daily News accurately reported that this was the CEO’s total compensation package, not his base salary. (see http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/dayton-news/regions-development-efforts-are-fragmented-across-many-groups-795997.html).

As for our results, you can find a copy of the Coalition’s 2009 Annual Report, on line at http://www.getmidwest.com/2009/annual_report/. The 2010 Annual Report is in the works.
Much of the work of the Coalition is strategic and long-tern1 and will result in new job creation for several years. The staff at the DDC is very talented and could be working anywhere else earning more compensation. Instead, they have chosen to focus their talents on growing the Dayton Region.

We appreciate your understanding and support of the Coalition. Please feel free to contact John Landess or Bruce Langos if you have any questions about the Coalitions, its record of success, or its personnel policies.

DDC Board of Trustees Compensation Committee

John Landess- Turner Foundation, Chairman of the Board DDC,

Bruce Langos, COO Teradata, 2011 Incoming Chairman of the Board, DDC

Pete Luongo, Retired CEO, The Berry Company

Beverly Shilito, Partner, Sebaly, Shilito, & Dyer

If the DDC can be faulted for anything- it’s that the compensation committee is made up entirely of private business people, with no elected representation. Are we to understand that zero public money goes into the compensation, or operating expenses of this organization?

We also have to ask who is the watchdog of the public funds they’ve been entrusted with. Based on Deb Feldman’s record of accounting for public money, how can we expect that our money is being well spent- or legally spent? And there still hasn’t been any answer on how a major marketing contract was awarded no-bid to Congressman Turner’s wife and her firm, “The Turner Effect.” Do they just get a mulligan and get to go on as if nothing has happened? Also, Bev Shilito, who sits on the board, is an owner of Real Art, the firm that produces much of the collateral for the DDC- another conflict of interest. Mr. Luongo’s son was on the payroll, as is the Mayor of Kettering’s wife. Are these ethics violations- or just business as usual?

To avoid the hint of impropriety, this organization should be more careful in its dealings if it wants to earn the regions trust and grow its role.

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