Mayor Vetoes Increase in Severance Pay
"While our citizens are having trouble making ends meet, our city council led by incoming council president Ken Rosenzweig displayed poor judgment. The essence of public service is maintaining the trust of the community. This was breached last evening in Englewood. Rather than postponing the matter for the public's input, the council opted to override my veto at a hastily called meeting and spend the community's hard earned tax dollars on a frivolous benefits package. Our citizens would have never countenanced such an exorbitant expenditure."
"The real issue here is: how could THEY be against lifetime benefits then flip and pass this for a new hire? By hurriedly overriding my veto, the council did exactly what was done with the lifetime benefits matter and are making taxpayers pay for their inability to attract a city manager because they are such a micromanaging and political council."
Michael Wildes, Mayor
Saturday, December 22, 2007
ENGLEWOOD -- Mayor Michael Wildes is trying to block a policy that could allow ousted city managers to collect extra benefits.
Calling the policy a "golden parachute," Wildes has vetoed an ordinance that would extend the severance pay to a year for city managers who leave within five years. They now are eligible for three months' severance.
Council members say they passed the ordinance last week as a negotiating tool to help speed the hiring of a city manager.
The job has been filled by an interim manager for eight months. Englewood's reputation as a political town has has caused some potential candidates to be concerned about job security, said Councilman Ken Rosenzweig.
"This is to get someone here and not be worried that a couple months later, or a year later, if political winds change, they wouldn't find themselves without a job," he said.
Council President Charlotte Bennett Schoen wondered why Wildes did not veto a controversial 2004 ordinance that granted some city employees lifetime benefits.
Wildes said that that ordinance was not fully explained to him at the time, and he would have vetoed it if he had known its full implications.
Under the city charter, the mayor has no voting power on ordinances but can veto them. The council can then override the veto if four or more members vote for the ordinance.
Councilman Jack Drakeford was the only council member to vote against the ordinance.
Reproduced from The Record
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