Apparently, the administration – even in the face of proposed layoffs – can hire (or sign off on) any new employees. And it has.
You know, a few folks in risk management. Maybe a guy who knows the chief of staff for a nice Community Outreach manager position. Some people over in the engineering department.
But, it didn’t want to sign off on some pay raises for three workers in the Retirement and Pension Board (department). You see, awhile back, the board – which doesn’t answer to the administration by the way – agreed to let Executive Director Kim Bennett hire a new employee.
Instead, she gave three current workers more responsibilities and raises – including “one sizeable raise.”
But, the pay-bumps were under what it would have cost to hire a new worker. And, she is still going to come under her overall budget for this year.
However, the county's finance director (and mayor's representative on the pension board) John Troyer – apparently at the mayor’s orders – told the board this morning that sBennett probably shouldn’t give the salary increases. He said other “regular employees” haven’t received raises in years and with layoffs pending it wouldn’t send a good message to the rest of the workforce.
“I’m not trying to challenge the authority of this but (rather) the wisdom of the move at this time,” said Troyer, more than likely realizing the mayor had just thrown him under the bus on this one.
The good doctor and Commissioner Richard Briggs, also a pension board member, pointed out that “there’s a difference between a pay raise and a promotion.”
In a 8-1 vote the board agreed, signing off on the promotions and salary increases.
Troyer was the dissenting vote.
This probably would have been a good time for county Mayor Tim Burchett to not miss a meeting for a board on which he serves. He says that Troyer is his stand-in for him on the pension board because because Troyer “understands finances better than anyone I know.”
That might be true.
But this wasn’t a case of understanding finances.
And Burchett argues better than Troyer.