Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Pay Raises Hackles

The PC has been busy with the latest news coming from Mayor Carey's office. It seems to me that one of the stories is a bit of a yawner - Scooter Chumley didn't file the proper paperwork regarding the sale of equipment to CES. Chumley's company has done business with the borough for quite some time, and in his new (and highly paid) position, he has been divesting his connections to the borough. According to the article, Chumley's Inc. no longer has any borough contracts. The paperwork problem seems to have been resolved and there's a happy ending: the equipment was donated to CES.

The pay raise issue is still a bit weird - especially with today's revelation that the Kachemak Bay Emergency Service Fire Assistant Chief was given a $5145 pay raise - before he even started the job, and after he had agreed to work for the lower pay! That's incredible. Who can have a problem with a pay raise AFTER someone proves up to the job, but shouldn't that come after a performance review? It should at least come after the person actually does some work!

The fact that Carey continues to give pay raises after the assembly smacked his hand after he was caught giving unwarranted and undisclosed pay raises last week is stunning. Despite the slight cut that Carey made to the pay of his chief of staff (the same Mr Chumley mentioned above) and his assistant after being taken to task by the taxpayers last week, Mayor Dave still treats the borough till as his own little money dispensary.

The PC lists some of the raises - they show 11 positions that received at least a 15% pay raise, but that list is only a small sample of the Mayor's largess. Take for instance the Spruce Bark Beetle Mitigation Manager - a person with no experience in forestry and a person who the state of Alaska let go in his last government appointed post with DMV - now makes over $7000 more than his highly-qualified predecessor and gets a car allowance. There are now 25 borough managers that make over $80,000 a year - only 15 made over $80K last year. Another 22 make in the $70-80K range. That includes the newly created Community and Fiscal Projects Manager who earns $75K, compared to the old grants manager who earned $68K.

And do keep in mind that these raises don't include the increased costs to the borough to the retirement programs of each manager. That is an additional $3,000-$4,000 for each manager. And it also does not include the $3600 car allowance given to Chumley, Wilcox, the Spruce Bark Beetle Director, and the General Service Director. Yes, they all justly receive additional mileage if they use their car on borough business. But does the Spruce Bark Beetle guy really need an additional car allowance? Does the Mayor get this too? He lives across the street from his office!

The borough assembly was caught napping during the last budget cycle as they didn't question the Mayor's budget for salaries. But I guess we were all caught napping. Carey has run as a fiscal conservative and a champion that would rein in the cost of borough government. What a joke. Given the mayor's reluctance to be up-front with these raises - indeed his attempts to hide them have been incredible - I hope that there's some full accounting of Scooter's divesting his business from the borough payroll.


Wolfe Tone said...

Yes, it's true that Scooter failed to file the "conflict of interest" paperwork... but this isn't QUITE the "yawner" you might think.

Administration employees (say, the Borough Attorney or the Purchasing Officer) who might have properly advised Mr. Chumley to file his conflict of interest notice were informed that he had "divested" himself of any interest in Chumley's Inc.

So naturally, they didn't impress upon him that he might have a conflict.

However, Mr. Chumley was either less than truthful with them, or he really doesn't understand what "divest" means.

Scooter still owns 50% of the company and sits on its board of directors.

Hardly a "divestment."

It should also be noted that the sole source request to purchase the used equipment from Chumley's, Inc. was dated August 6, 2009, but didn't show up in the Mayor's Report to the Assembly until the November 10, 2009 meeting, over three months later.

This thing was planned to never surface (and wouldn't have), except someone on the Assembly caught wind of it and started asking questions.

I'm pretty sure more fiscal fecal matter about Chumley's, Inc. will hit the spinning impeller before this is all over.

Anonymous said...

It needs to come to an end. The mayor has always said let the people decide and that he'll do the peoples will.

I say lets decide, not to give them raises and decide that he mayor is wrong and the we the people want this madness to stop.

Makes you wish you had supported him in the last election doesn't it.....

Wolfe Tone said...

Anon @ 9:27 pm:

You said:

>>>> "Makes you wish you had supported him in the last election doesn't it...."

Do you mean "hadn't?"
Because as written, it makes no sense to me.

Incidentally, I've never supported Dave Carey. For Borough Mayor, or any other office he's sought or held (including the HEA Board).

I've always thought he had a problem with thinking things through.

Souldotna said...

Hi Wolfe Tone - just added a link to your blog.

Wolfe TOne said...

Thanks! I've had yours linked for a while now, I enjoy your writing very much.

Anonymous said...

I find it amazing how you have some much information on Carey/Chumley!!!!!! Information only somebody from the inside would have.....hum I don't think it is a secret who owns this blog!!!!!! Can't wait to see you at the next meeting!

Souldotna said...

Hmmmm...all public info. All a citizen has to do is read the papers, listen to the radio, or ask the borough clerk for info - like how much each borough department head makes. America, land of the Freedom of Information Act!

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