Here we go again....
City Manager Scott Neal gets his annual performance bonus. (3 hours 30 minutes into the linked video of this week's Council meeting).
He's presented as some saint for not taking a salary increase in these tough times, but the city negates that good will by granting him a performance bonus. Who- who- who is getting performance bonuses in 2009? I know who- the highest paid government employees- that's who. It looks so bad- it is so bad!
So a $4,723 total bonus to ensure that this "poor guy" doesn't take any cut in pay year over year. OK- so that's not a lot of money right? It's the principle, it's the principle. Our suburban City Manager already makes more than the Governor of this state- $20,000 more.
Bravo to Councilmembers Phil Young and Jon Duckstad for voting against this merit pay provision and for generally questioning merit pay bonuses for public employees.
It annoys me to no end that this guy sits up with the City Council at the meetings, it annoys me that he gives the "State of the City" address, it annoys me that he has a taxpayer funded blog to promote his agenda on the city website, it's really annoys me that he gets a $6,000 a year car allowance (is it 1990?) when he lives in Minneapolis. He has way too much power. I'm confident- completely confident- that you could replace him for about $80,000 a year- especially in this economy when so many great people are out looking for employment. Neal makes $140,000 a year- this is not his total compensation package.
I simply can't understand why- when they're laying off six employees from the city staff- that the majority of the Council would give him this bonus.
I take some comfort in knowing that Mr. Neal is a career-government employee and that EP is just a stop along his way to more money in a nice, comfortable public-sector job. If only the City wouldn't work so hard to make it so appealing for him to stay.