Part-time yearlong $40/hour gig for outgoing HR chief a taxpayer slap in the face

10:30 a.m.

Part-time yearlong $40/hour gig for outgoing HR chief a taxpayer slap in the face

If Rochester needs to spend $50,000 on a part-time yearlong position for the outgoing HR director to ensure a smooth transition, to my way of thinking, that's a bridge too far.

And that's what the position would be: a bridge from the person who's filled the same position for the last 30 years to the person taking over.

This is nothing more than a sweetheart deal that the taxpayers of Rochester should be furious over.

I sympathize with the City Manager, who says the department would "suffer greatly" due to a loss of institutional knowledge.

But let's face it. In my years in banking, in insurance, in education, I have never heard of such a thing.

Is this something that only happens in government, where folks have fun spending other people's money?

A lot of folks in government won't like what I just said, but when you do things like this, you ask for it. It really makes people furious.

No private company would do this. No private company would allow a person to retire without having a plan in place for a smooth transition without costing the company another $50,000.

Last year the human resources director was paid around $85,000 plus benefits. That's about $40 an hour.

The City Council had a chance to ax the position last Tuesday but a motion by City Councilor Chris Rice failed 7-4, with Rice, David Walker, Don Hamann and Laura Hainey voting to cut the position and Palana Belken, Donna Bogan, Pete Lachapelle, Elaine Lauterborn, Tom Abbott, Jim Gray and Mayor Caroline McCarley voting to keep it.

City Manager Blaine Cox said he tried to find a successor to the position that might have allowed for a smooth transition but was unsuccessful after the person took a couple of HR classes and said the field wasn't for them.

Mr. Cox also said the department's institutional knowledge would be walking out the door when the present manager of the department leaves, but in most scenarios throughout the private workforce, only a two-week holdover would be acceptable. A monthlong holdover would be pushing it. And a full year at full pay for the hours worked? Denied!

The city manager also argued that the director would be spending time sprucing up the SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) and generating some office efficiencies.

Actually, that should have been part of their job description for 30 years, not for their yearlong part-time gig.

This is nothing more than a sweetheart deal that should be reversed tonight.

This shows the taxpayers just how little they matter.