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Youngstown council confuses itself with a city that has cash

By Todd Franko (Contact)


Published February 26, 2008

Several months back, a government vacancy was about to get filled. Our planning chat that day included the need to get the new person's salary and compare it against the prior person's salary.

Off the cuff, I predicted the new person will be making more than the outgoing person. 

I think the new salary came in $13,000 more. I'll check later today to be sure.

But what's to be sure, there are people in government who can't get out of their own foolish ways of doing business.

The latest is the Youngstown City Council.

In today's Vindy is a story about how some council members are not happy that the proposed salary for the parks director position is $57,000.

They want it to be more. The previous person's salary was $70,794.

How can city leaders say $57,000 is not enough money when not one application has been solicited? Where is the logic of paying more than what the market possibly needs?

Maybe the market needs $70K. But maybe it only needs $57K. Hell -- in our workforce, it's an employer's market. Maybe $50K will do it.

I missed the memo where the city is all of a sudden flush with cash. They must be confusing Youngstown with Dublin or Shaker Heights.  

The weird thing in this event is that Mayor Jay's administration wants the post at $57K. They're the full-time, day-in-day out bosses. Yet they're being nudged by the city's elected, part-time bosses.

You have to wonder if someone has an inside track for the supposedly open post, and saw themselves at $70K. 

I predict that one councilman will use arbitrator speak (which BTW is the biggest fraud being pulled on taxpayers, says me) and say a higher salary keeps us at par with neighboring communities. I'm not sure a neighboring community matches our economic plight, unless overnight someone U-Hauled us next to Gary or Camden.

If any of the councilmen ran the city like their private business, there is no way they would pay more for a worker than they had to. 

Memo to council on hiring: Post a salary; see who applies; if you like an applicant and they like the pay, hire them at that salary; if you don't like the applicants, raise the pay till you find the person you like.

Officials will meet again Thursday on the salary. Stay tuned.
 


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