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Thread: what is behind the mayor wanting to give the chief of police a 9000.00 raise?

  1. #1

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    Default what is behind the mayor wanting to give the chief of police a 9000.00 raise?

    or did i read it wrong??

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    Default Re: what is behind the mayor wanting to give the chief of police a 9000.00 raise?

    So my statements aren’t misconstrued first I want to say I support our chief of police fully and think he has done a remarkable job in the ~9 months of his employment. Kudos to him and his officers.
    Brad and Tonya stated this raise would bring his salary in line with other departments. I question which departments? Same size? Local? Everything should be relative. If council approves this raise he will make more than the Auburn chief of police. There is a marked difference between Auburn and Garrett’s police forces.
    If Brad and Tonya want to bring employee’s pay in line with other communities why are they only looking at a single position? Are our department heads paid the same as other cities and towns? Are our street, water and electric employees paid the same as other comparable cities and towns?
    I think that an employee of 9 months receiving approximately a 20% pay raise while other city employees receive nothing is short sighted and unfair at a minimum. I am very curious as to why the mayor had “individual” meetings with council members? Is there something the public shouldn’t know?
    Why in such a short time of employment is there such a hard push for salary increase. This same issue came up several months ago.

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    Default Re: what is behind the mayor wanting to give the chief of police a 9000.00 raise?

    Why in the world would you give a 9 month employee a 9,000 dollar salary increase? Even if it is to bring the pay to the level of comparable sized towns. This makes absolutely no sense at all. If your city positions are underpaid and you look to bring them inline with other cities you do not do it all in one instant. Increase the pay over a few years. He may be a wonder person and a great police officer but an increase like this is just irresponsible governing.
    Mitch McConnell: “The President’s more than willing to negotiate with Iranians, I don’t know why he wouldn’t be willing to negotiate with us.”

    Jon Stewart: “If it turns out that President Barack Obama can make a deal with the most intransigent, hard-lined, unreasonable totalitarian mullahs in the world, but not the Republicans, maybe he’s not the problem.”

  4. #4
    HomeyG Guest

    Default Re: what is behind the mayor wanting to give the chief of police a 9000.00 raise?

    Quote Originally Posted by TLC528 View Post
    So my statements aren’t misconstrued first I want to say I support our chief of police fully and think he has done a remarkable job in the ~9 months of his employment. Kudos to him and his officers.
    Brad and Tonya stated this raise would bring his salary in line with other departments. I question which departments? Same size? Local? Everything should be relative. If council approves this raise he will make more than the Auburn chief of police. There is a marked difference between Auburn and Garrett’s police forces.
    If Brad and Tonya want to bring employee’s pay in line with other communities why are they only looking at a single position? Are our department heads paid the same as other cities and towns? Are our street, water and electric employees paid the same as other comparable cities and towns?
    I think that an employee of 9 months receiving approximately a 20% pay raise while other city employees receive nothing is short sighted and unfair at a minimum. I am very curious as to why the mayor had “individual” meetings with council members? Is there something the public shouldn’t know?
    Why in such a short time of employment is there such a hard push for salary increase. This same issue came up several months ago.
    TLC,

    I agree a 20% pay raise seems excessive, especially for a new hire. However, if the purpose of the raise is to bring his salary in line with other chiefs of nearby cities of like size and revenue I don't have a problem but perhaps it should be done in steps over a period of a couple of years. My only question is can the police department's budget or the city of Garrett absorb this increase without raising taxes?

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    Default Re: what is behind the mayor wanting to give the chief of police a 9000.00 raise?

    Quote Originally Posted by HomeyG View Post
    TLC,
    My only question is can the police department's budget or the city of Garrett absorb this increase without raising taxes?
    I can't answer that, that same question would apply as to why no other city employee gets a pay raise don't ya think?
    Last edited by TLC528; 10-10-2012 at 11:06 AM.

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    Default Re: what is behind the mayor wanting to give the chief of police a 9000.00 raise?

    Quote Originally Posted by sturmtiger View Post
    Why in the world would you give a 9 month employee a 9,000 dollar salary increase? Even if it is to bring the pay to the level of comparable sized towns. This makes absolutely no sense at all. If your city positions are underpaid and you look to bring them inline with other cities you do not do it all in one instant. Increase the pay over a few years. He may be a wonder person and a great police officer but an increase like this is just irresponsible governing.
    Why are they only looking to bring one single position into line to me is the bigger question? Well that and why was there "private individual" conversations on the subject. Is it legal to do that sure, is it the ethical thing to do NO!

  7. #7
    HomeyG Guest

    Default Re: what is behind the mayor wanting to give the chief of police a 9000.00 raise?

    Quote Originally Posted by TLC528 View Post
    I can't answer that, that same question would apply as to why no other city employee gets a praise don't ya think?
    I agree. Perhaps a complete review of the pay structure for all city employees should be reviewed and bring it in align with other communities. I'm assuming the review would be done by the Board of Works and submitted to the City Council for approval. Since this will be part of the budget will it have to go to State for approval? Personally, I prefer raises be aligned with cost of living increases similar to social security increases. However, exceptional employees may be given merit increases or one time bonuses when justified. One other question. A while back full time employees were offered free membership to the Garrett YMCA, is this still in effect.

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    Default Re: what is behind the mayor wanting to give the chief of police a 9000.00 raise?

    He's not a Sikh, is he?
    Apples are good,
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    Default Re: what is behind the mayor wanting to give the chief of police a 9000.00 raise?

    Quote Originally Posted by evilkumquat View Post
    He's not a Sikh, is he?
    Gotta admit Evil, my bull puckey meter is tripping!
    coming to you live from police state "Kville"

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    Default Re: what is behind the mayor wanting to give the chief of police a 9000.00 raise?

    Quote Originally Posted by sturmtiger View Post
    Why in the world would you give a 9 month employee a 9,000 dollar salary increase? Even if it is to bring the pay to the level of comparable sized towns. This makes absolutely no sense at all. If your city positions are underpaid and you look to bring them inline with other cities you do not do it all in one instant. Increase the pay over a few years. He may be a wonder person and a great police officer but an increase like this is just irresponsible governing.
    I don't know why this guy is getting such a big raise, but....
    Maybe it is being given out of "fairness" or maybe it is a "redistribution" of funds.
    Isn't this what you are all voting on this year? Isn't this what you all want? Or is this hitting a little close to home?
    We, your American Legion Riders, ride for God and country, the American Legion Family and Allied Veterans everywhere. Protect those who protect us. Amen.

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    Default Re: what is behind the mayor wanting to give the chief of police a 9000.00 raise?

    Quote Originally Posted by pixiegirl View Post
    I don't know why this guy is getting such a big raise, but....
    Maybe it is being given out of "fairness" or maybe it is a "redistribution" of funds.
    Isn't this what you are all voting on this year? Isn't this what you all want? Or is this hitting a little close to home?
    Yeah, because a questionable 20% increase in a police chief's salary is TOTALLY the same thing as lowering the deficit by dropping the massive tax cuts given to the 1% and increasing the safety net for the rest of us.

    I can see how you got those two things confused.
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    Default Re: what is behind the mayor wanting to give the chief of police a 9000.00 raise?

    Two of three salary and wage ordinances brought before Garrett’s Common Council Tuesday died for a lack of a second, including a measure to give Police Chief Keith Hefner a $9,000 pay hike.

    Full story (subscription required):

    http://www.kpcnews.com/index.php?opt...ticle&id=46227

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    Default Re: what is behind the mayor wanting to give the chief of police a 9000.00 raise?

    So if I read the article correctly, Garrett's Mayor Hoeffel arbitrarily promised the new chief $9,000, knowing she didn't have the authority?

    Or is it more subtle than that? Hoeffel made the offer knowing she had enough sway with the council to present it as a fait accompli?

    With that whole debacle regarding tossing the Sikh literature and this, what kind of mayor did Garrett elect?

    Is it REALLY worth always voting for the guys/girls with the (R) next to their name?
    Apples are good,
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    Lemons are rude,
    Bananas are perverted,
    And kumquats are just, plain evil...

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    Default Re: what is behind the mayor wanting to give the chief of police a 9000.00 raise?

    The Police Chief has done an excellent job in his time here. I have nothing but admiration and respect for what he has done and what he has brought to our community.
    It’s unfortunate to say the least that he is the center of this situation. This is in no way is a reflection on him.
    One problem is the Mayor appears to have felt she could do and get whatever she wanted, as her statements below show.
    “I was the one that offered him the dollar amount. That was accepted and we brought him here,” Hoeffel said of the Hefner.
    And then states
    The mayor has the ability to offer a salary, but it must first be approved by the council, Hoeffel said.
    With her years of experience she touted during her run for mayor she knew very well how city government works.
    The second problem is her reasoning is keeping good employees, showing them we want them to stay. What does that say to every other city employee? How should they take that statement?

  15. #15
    HomeyG Guest

    Default Re: what is behind the mayor wanting to give the chief of police a 9000.00 raise?

    Quote Originally Posted by TLC528 View Post
    The Police Chief has done an excellent job in his time here. I have nothing but admiration and respect for what he has done and what he has brought to our community.
    It’s unfortunate to say the least that he is the center of this situation. This is in no way is a reflection on him.
    One problem is the Mayor appears to have felt she could do and get whatever she wanted, as her statements below show.
    “I was the one that offered him the dollar amount. That was accepted and we brought him here,” Hoeffel said of the Hefner.
    And then states
    The mayor has the ability to offer a salary, but it must first be approved by the council, Hoeffel said.
    With her years of experience she touted during her run for mayor she knew very well how city government works.
    The second problem is her reasoning is keeping good employees, showing them we want them to stay. What does that say to every other city employee? How should they take that statement?
    Don't think there was a problem of offering him a salary increase, it was the amount. Are there any plans to offer him a graduated salary increase over a period of time instead of a one-time increase?

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    Default Re: what is behind the mayor wanting to give the chief of police a 9000.00 raise?

    Quote Originally Posted by HomeyG View Post
    Don't think there was a problem of offering him a salary increase, it was the amount. Are there any plans to offer him a graduated salary increase over a period of time instead of a one-time increase?
    Reading between the lines in the article, it sounds like he's not planning a career in the position.
    Apples are good,
    Oranges are bad,
    Lemons are rude,
    Bananas are perverted,
    And kumquats are just, plain evil...

  17. #17

    Default Re: what is behind the mayor wanting to give the chief of police a 9000.00 raise?

    This is exactly the style of second rate governing that we receive when politicians
    whether they are R's or D's try doing something outside the auspices of the public.
    When this 3 person committee first came to the realization that the pay offered may
    not generate the quality of applicant that they desired. They had a duty to take the
    matter public and go before the full council to see if an adjustment in pay range was
    something that the council could support and justify. It was a major disservice to the
    job applicant and the public, to put a man in a position, with potential promises that the
    committee knew full well that they did not possess the final authority on. Now the person
    in the position not only feels unwelcome, but the public feels that there was a conscious effort
    to deceive them through the process. In my humble opinion the mayor knew better than to
    handle the situation this way, the councilman knew better, and the city attorney certainly knew
    that it was far from the best remedy for rectifying an obvious problem that had come to light.
    We need and deserve better governance from our elected officials. I am glad that the motion
    died for lack of a second, but it should be painfully obvious by now that the pay issue should
    have been resolved before the actual hiring of anyone. The person in the position could very
    well be the absolute best in the U.S.A. at what he does, and it still wouldn't justify the way
    that the mayor and councilman stump chose to address the problem. Come on people let's try
    putting the cart behind the horse, the results of which would be better for everyone concerned.
    When you go out of your way to hide anything from the public scrutiny it never ends well, and
    you clearly wind up with egg on your face and innocent employees feeling less than welcome!
    Open your eyes...............
    Don't go another day through life blindly
    !

  18. #18

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    Default Re: what is behind the mayor wanting to give the chief of police a 9000.00 raise?

    I have the utmost hope that when our esteemed mayor runs again in the next election we show her what we think of her governing skills. I agree, we have some very skilled and dedicated workers in Garrett and I am the first to say we need to hold on to them. She should have never told a subordinate that she was getting them x amount of money to bring their wage up. That is just a complete failure as a boss in my opinion. She had no authority to do so and knew that it might not pass. In today's economic environment how could she justify not only to her constituents but her counsel members (whom are elected also) that the size of the increase was justified in one adjustment. Again, I only hope the events of the last couple of months will weigh heavily on people's minds when the next mayoral race is run.
    Mitch McConnell: “The President’s more than willing to negotiate with Iranians, I don’t know why he wouldn’t be willing to negotiate with us.”

    Jon Stewart: “If it turns out that President Barack Obama can make a deal with the most intransigent, hard-lined, unreasonable totalitarian mullahs in the world, but not the Republicans, maybe he’s not the problem.”

  19. #19

    Default Re: what is behind the mayor wanting to give the chief of police a 9000.00 raise?

    I realize this will likely sway no one but maybe it can at least dispel some of the incorrect statements I've seen thus far and hopefully answer some questions. If nothing else it provides more fodder for discussion which I believe is generally good for government. I apologize for not being able to cover everything I want to cover but I will probably be too long-winded anyway as I attempt to explain things as best as I can.

    I was one of the people placed on the hiring committee. During the interviews, the hiring committee was advised by several of the candidates that the salary for the position was too low compared to comparable positions in the region. In fact one candidate, who fortunately was not our top choice, flat out said the salary would need to be $72,000 for him to accept the position (we quickly identified that figure as being far above what the Auburn Chief makes per year so we dropped that candidate from further consideration). The hiring committee knew the Police Department salaries are low so we promised all candidates that we would try to raise the salaries to get them in line with area departments assuming we could find the money in the budget however no specific dollar figures were discussed with any of the candidates during the interview process. Apparently the salary was first discussed via telephone when the position was offered to Chief Hefner by the Mayor. And I want to note that chief Hefner was/is solidly the committee's first choice for the position. I believe the first time the salary was discussed with anyone on the Council, myself included, was sometime mid-year when it was first brought up for discussion. At that time the Mayor met with the Council members in her office to discuss the issue and find out what concerns existed. I believe the Mayor never met with more than two Council members at a time in order to comply with the State's open door law requirements. After the discussion I did some research and talked to family members in law enforcement about salaries and the Chief's qualifications. After the research, much of which I made available Tuesday evening, I came to believe the top end of the salary range does need adjusted to something around the figure proposed and that opinion is not based on the current Chief's qualifications but on comparing the Chief's salary to other City Police Chiefs in DeKalb County (For reference, the Butler Chief makes over $54k/year; Auburn's Chief makes $58k/year per info provided by others). My opinion is also based on comparing it to the salary of several other Garrett City department heads that over the last couple of years have routinely received from $51k - $61k per year because they receive overtime but the Police Chief doesn't even though a good Chief, as Chief Hefner has proven himself to be, typically puts in the same number of hours. It is Chief Hefner's qualifications are what should place him at the top of the range but the salary range itself should be competitive.

    It would have been preferable to have resolved the salary issue immediately but that did not happen. The delay was caused by a need/desire to address pension plan issues as part of the process. Because the police pension is based on a percentage of a first-class Patrolman's annual salary, and because Garrett's first-class Patrolmen are paid less than most other departments, Chief Hefner and at least one of the other leading candidates were rightly concerned that their pensions upon retirement would actually be reduced from what they are guaranteed now if they went on the police pension plan while working for Garrett. I believe those issues have been resolved.

    All salaries within the Police Department, not just the Chief's salary, have been reviewed and adjustments are proposed for 2013 although I don't recall if the paper mentioned that fact (sincere apologies in advance to Sue if I am forgetting something because she works her tail off and really does a great job of reporting). After the review, steps were taken to make some salary adjustments in the 2013 budget although another quick look needs to be taken in the next budget cycle to see what further adjustment is necessary. The reason for focusing on the Police Department salaries is because the changeover to Central Dispatch had freed up funds within the Department's budget which gave the City a chance to address officer salaries without any kind of budgetary increase by doing an internal shifting of funds within the existing Department budget. (note: that same type of internal shift is what allowed the purchase of new vehicles which will hopefully get us away from the cycle of buying used cars and running them for too many miles beyond what is prudent). That is also the reason why the adjustments were proposed to be done all at once because it had no budget increase due to the Department's internal budget shift. If it had required additional funds over and above the existing budgeted amount then Sturmtiger (nice name by-the-way from one history buff to another) is right that it is preferable to do it in phases. That said though, I would hazard a guess that opposition to multi-year raises would probably have been almost as high if we had proposed a $3000 raise for three consecutive years because I've too often heard the “you just gave him a big raise last year” argument. That means making the same justification arguments and fighting the fight three times instead of one so if the existing budget allows it I would rather put the time fighting for raises in years 2 & 3 to use working on salary for other positions, continuing to work on the safe-routes-to-school project or working on the City's ADA transition plan as required by the Federal government (yet another unfunded mandate that's going to cost us for years to come).

    After the proposed budgets were given to the City by the departments, after the utility rate study information became available, after information from the State and the City's financial consultant became available, and after we learned that the City faced several hundred thousand dollars of budget cuts to the total amount the City Departments had requested, we found we had to focus on where to make cuts to be able to get State budget approval which left very little time to explore for other issues. We did note that there was the potential for an insurance increase so we found a way to offer a small increase to offset some of those costs. And while it is unfortunate that one employee feels such a small increase is insulting we really did want to try and cover some/all of any insurance increase. Also, I know the City worked hard in the last couple of budgets to give better raises on average from 2010-2012 than were seen in many area governments but that fact seems to be getting lost in the shuffle. And that includes a 3% raise one year even though the State flat-lined Garrett's budget for that year allowing NO percentage increase to the budget even though almost every other county, city and town in the State was allowed to increase their budgets by the State's growth quotient! And if the Mayor and Clerk follow through on my suggestion to adopt a budget process similar to the County's process and use it for the next budget cycle then we should address a lot of the need for budget cuts much earlier in the process. Ted Christensen (TLC528 here on the fence post) was on the budget committee for part of his recent term as a Councilman so he knows the budget process the City has used for years and the fact that is has some serious weaknesses. The County's process may not be perfect but there are opportunities for the City to require more accountability by departments but also as a chance for department heads to provide more info in support of legitimate requests that might otherwise get cut by the Council.

    Whether we agree or not I hope the information above dispels some of the falsehoods. For instance “No Adventure Is Too Small's” comment regarding the way “I chose to handle the situation” is misleading (only through his/her not having the above info I am sure) because like the other Council members I only became aware of the promised salary amount after the fact. That does not change my belief in the research I have done, my belief that the increase is the right thing to do nor my belief that Chief Hefner is absolutely worth it. It only addresses that I was not aware of the situation at as early a stage as “No Adventure” believed to be the case and couldn't have "handled it" any other way.

    And at this point I'm burned out enough that further explanation/discussion will have to wait. I sincerely apologize if I have at all missed the mark and only managed to muddy the waters in any way.
    Last edited by BradStump; 10-18-2012 at 09:57 PM. Reason: Correcting the usual spelling/grammar errors (sigh)

  20. #20

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    Default Re: what is behind the mayor wanting to give the chief of police a 9000.00 raise?

    One question that popped in my mind reading BradStump's explanation: why is it so important to give public employees any raises?

    So many of their constituents in the private sector haven't seen an increase in their pay for years (those still with jobs).

    I don't buy the "if we don't pay people more money, we'll lose the best people for the jobs" argument since like most of us, it's likely those with public jobs wouldn't want to join so many of the rest of us job hunting.

    I do appreciate someone in the middle of all this taking the time to visit the forums with an explanation, though.
    Apples are good,
    Oranges are bad,
    Lemons are rude,
    Bananas are perverted,
    And kumquats are just, plain evil...

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