Asheville Citizen-Times reporter John Boyle, with the help of a watchful citizen, notes that some city of Asheville employees got sweet raises (that’s taxpayer money, btw) despite a city policy squashing pay raises during these economic tough times.
Arn Brewer, sent the newspaper an email detailing some pretty nifty research he’d done. He gave kudos to Kaliner, mentioned my initial salary research and then dropped this nugget on us:
“When comparing the list to a 2010 salary list published by John Boyle of the Citizen-Times, it seems that several people have received raises. It was my understanding that all city salaries were frozen during the recession. Now I’m aware that several promotions have taken place and that would account for some of the monetary increases, but I’m specifically referring to employees that received a raise but did not receive a change in job classification.”
He detailed the list of employees and salary changes without reclassification. Those included:
Albert Kopf went from $74,538.56 to $81,992.00
David Foster went from $76,308.53 to $83,245.67
Sarah L. Bradley went from $77,976.40 to $99,750.00
Lewis M. Case went from $78,368.47 to $86,205.32
Gregory S. Shuler went from $82,178.92 to $86,287.87
Roderick Simmons went from $93,350.73 to $95,000.00
Samuel H. Powers went from $99,728.75 to $104,715.19
He also noted that the new chief of police is making $134,446, even though the previous chief made $122,109.77.
I ran these numbers by the city, which referred me to human resources director Kelly C. Dickens. Regarding the above-referenced numbers, Dickens told me, “most of those numbers are correct, depending upon the point in time that salaries were referenced in 2010.”
The majority of those raises were not a result of education or training, they were payment for supporting the city manager’s agenda and hiding errors or corruption from the public. The city has been under a pay freeze for 4 years now, yet these increases keep happening as a reward system to Gary Jackson’s and Jeff Richardson’s cronies at the expense of cost of living adjustments for trustworthy employees providing genuine service to the public. The real tragedy is that this continues to this day and more and more new croonies are being hired, promoted and appointed below the radar while the media sleeps. Just visit the city human resources department, finance, or city managers office to meet the cast of smiling new faces with a leash running into Gary Jacksons office. Most council members are well aware of this, but look the other way because the cast of yes men and women serve the elected people’s sleazy dealings also.
It would be interesting to see whether the pay increases were pegged to such changes as increased relevant education or training, or perhaps they were contractual increases. There are a lot of cases where such pay hikes could be justifiable, but some explanation from City HR would make me feel better.