Open Forum: $100,000
Posted: February 14, 2013
What could $100,000 a year give Winchester taxpayers? Based on my research, the city could quite comfortably have two more full-time teachers hired along with a new teaching assistant.
Is not our public-school system in much need of teachers? Isn’t our student population becoming more and more diverse?
But what we get for $100,000 a year is a new assistant city manager who previously had a Twitter account that had a description that read “Uncivil civil servant. You’ve been warned,” according to Peter Bober, mayor of Hollywood, Fla.
What the heck is that supposed to mean, and why would someone take the time to write something on their own social media account that was not true?
There is no doubt our city schools are in much need of teachers, but what we get is a new assistant city manager who had breath samples that showed his blood-alcohol level was .145 and .139 when the legal limit is .08. He told the arresting officer he just had two beers after leaving a night club called Swinging Richards, described as a state-of-the-art nightclub/strip club catering to the gay male community in Miami.
One can easily understand why the mayor and city commissioners in Hollywood said they couldn’t trust Winchester’s new assistant city manager and questioned his judgment following a DUI arrest after being on the job for just 14 weeks in the spring of 2012.
The perception is that our new assistant manager came out of that mess pretty darn well. What was that outcome? A $66,000 payout, 12 months of health insurance, and a promise by that city to not say anything bad about him. His contract in Hollywood called for him to receive $172,000 annually, plus a $125 monthly cell-phone allotment and $500 a month for his car. The city also gave him $18,000 for moving expenses.
Total cost to the taxpayers of Hollywood, including his salary paid for approximately 14 weeks of work, his severance package, and $7,000 for future health care comes to a little more than $163,000 for 68 days of work, so noted information made public in an article by the Miami Herald on June 1, 2012.
Actually, our new assistant city manager came out of it pretty darn well at the expense of the taxpayers of Hollywood.
I truly believe the taxpayers in Winchester would feel more comfortable with their tax dollars helping to hire two new full-time teachers and a new teaching assistant in our local schools while helping our young people to learn to become productive citizens.
To close, after learning more, maybe we all can understand the meaning of our new assistant city manager’s previous Twitter account that had that description, “Uncivil civil servant. You’ve been warned.”
Jeff Milburn is a resident of Winchester.