Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tight-fisted City (and Councilman?) make it Difficult

To provide depth, scope, and understanding on the part of the media, on the topics that they're covering? (see: Mayor Carlson: Excerpt from the State of the City Report)

In Salary ranges recommended for next city manager, Wes Johnson wrote for the Springfield News-Leader:

"Mayor Pro Tem Gary Deaver, who chairs the effort to find a new city manager, said the City Council and Arcus search firm can use the pay study to evaluate what to offer a prospective candidate.

"It's a benchmark tool they can use to understand what wages and compensation is in like-sized cities," Deaver said. "We want to be competitive, but not pay too much."

Though he agreed it was a public document, Deaver asked the News-Leader not to publish the subcommittee's pay-range study....*

He acknowledged the search committee and City Council weren't bound by the pay range included in the study."

Then, Johnson (and the News-Leader) provided the link to the City Manager Compensation Recommendations, I do not know if this is the actual "study" Deaver asked the News-Leader not to publish: Salary ranges recommended for next city manager.

I hope Mayor Carlson is proud of Mr. Johnson for providing such depth and scope, indeed, such understanding of the issue.

CFP requested meeting minutes from all of the City Manager Search Committee meetings and Sub-Committee meetings, including the Compensation Package Sub-Committee. Note was made that at the time of publication of CFP's (June 18) current issue:

"The minutes of the February 1 (Compensation Package Sub-Committee) meeting indicated there would be a "brainstorming meeting" held on February 15. Minutes to that meeting, if it took place, were not submitted to CFP and a response to a follow up request for that information did not come in time for inclusion in this publication." (see: Online Supplimentals to the Print Edition).

CFP got a response, on June 18, from City Clerk Brenda Cirtin about the February 15 meeting referred to during the course of the February 1 meeting. The Administrative Assistant for the Committee was out of her office and unable to respond so I had forwarded my query to the City Clerk:

"I have checked our files and there was no meeting posted for the Compensation Package Sub-Committee on February 15." Ms. Cirtin wrote in an email.

Granted, my query specified a particular meeting in this instance, however, originally, I had requested all meeting minutes regarding the committee from Ms. Smith and there were no other meeting minutes beyond the February 1 meeting of the Compensation Package Sub-Committee included with those minutes.

At the online supplimental page at CFP you can read, under the heading of "The Four Sub-Committees of the City Manager Search Committee," the information I (or CFP, through me) was provided regarding meetings held by the the over-all city manager's search committee and the sub-committee meetings.

Interesting. Apparently, all of that study and preparation necessary to create the Sub-Committee's recommended salary ranges was accomplished with one meeting of the Compensation Package Sub-Committee.

At the first meeting of the City Manager Search Committee, on January 14, 2008, Mayor Pro Tem Gary Deaver stressed that the Committee needed to make the search process as open and transparent to the public as possible.

I signed up for news-letters from the City regarding the progress of the search. I can't remember the last time I received one, seriously.

"It's not like it used to be, there's not the depth, there's not the scope, there's not the understanding on the part of the media, on the topics that they're covering.... It makes it very difficult to get your message out." - Mayor Tom Carlson in his state of the city report.

Maybe you're placing the blame on the wrong people, Mayor Carlson? Just a thought.

*emphasis mine


Busplunge said...

Now Dang it, Jackehammer, if you weren't such an "aginner" and quit bringing up uncomfortable subjects,...

Oh Dang it, it's raining again!

Jackie Melton said...

I know, Jim, I know...nasty habit, huh?

It's an awful thing to seek out the facts and try to get all the information to provide "depth, scope and understanding," doncha know?