Update: Here are the parts in the city charter that refer to pay discretion and directors, seems the mayor has a lot of control over the ‘salary steps’;Â pay-discretion
Earlier in the year I was able to acquire the salary records for all of the city employees since 2010. All of my data comes from the city website either directly or indirectly. I possessedÂ data for 2014-2015, while another South DaCola foot soldier who frequently downloadsÂ city information had the other records, and one of the years was supplied to me by aÂ city official.
I was also able to get the information verified. When I provided it to a local news agency, they of course wanted to double check the information so they asked for the same data from the city finance office. We compared the files they provided and they matchup. There was some debate from the finance office that the information I acquired may be inaccurateÂ because the city uses a different kind of accounting system now then what they used inÂ 2010. This of course doesn’t change what people are being paid by any means, as wasÂ proven when we cross referenced the files.
As you will see by the list below of the closest directors, managers and assistants to the mayor, it’s good to keep a little brown on your nose if you want a little extra green in your wallet. While, I by no means, am opposed to raises for public employees, in no way do I think they deserve raises that are four times the COLA. In the private sector, especially in Sioux Falls, you would be hard pressed to see increases like these, especially when you take into account the kind of pension and benefits plan these public employees receive onÂ top of their pay. There is also the argument of retention and lack of bonus pay for publicÂ employees.
Some say these large increases come from promotions or achieving goals, while that is a great argument in the private sector, I question if that should be the case in the publicÂ sector. Many of these managers DID not receive any promotions over the 4-5 year periodÂ and hold the same position. And most of the managers that did get a change, it usuallyÂ was in name (title) only, essentially their job did not really change.Â It seems to me that employees are being rewarded for doing the mayor’s bidding (he signs off on the wage increases and salaries) instead of the work they are doing, or for that matter NOT DOING.
Take SIRE for instance. It was broken before Mayor Huether even took office, and with a new appointment in Central Services, and 5 years later, it still doesn’t work. It reminds me of what a former city employee said to me about the forestry manager a couple of weeks ago when we were discussing Project Trim, He said, â€œHe works 80 hours a week trying to get out of work.â€
Three managers, that you WILL not see listed below, Mike Cooper (Director of Planning), Jeff Schmitt and Kevin Smith received very small COLA like raises over the past 5 years. In fact, Kevin Smith quit this past year. You have to question why someone like Mike wasÂ only receiving small 2% raises while his peers were receiving large 10-12% every other year? What’s that saying about playing the reindeer games? Mike Cooper has been underÂ a lot of pressure this past year due to his internal zoning and the Walmart hearings. He recently spent $30K for a study of a neighborhood that the neighborhood did not ask for. I will let you speculate whether or not Huether was rewarding his good soldiers with significant wage increases for doing his bidding or for performance, or a combination of both. Either way, the numbers don’t lie, a city management job looks like a pretty good gig, if you don’t mind the smell.
What is even more troubling is that you will not find these kind of salary increases in the hourly employees over the past five years. Those stayed stable at 2-3% a year, in fact in the SFPD several officers received NO increase in some years. Notice in the list below you will find NO ONE from the SFPD listed, not even the former chief of police, with one exception, the city attorney who is charge of advising them, KEITH ALLENSTEIN.
Here’s a chart showing the hourly rate increases over the same time period;
DOCUMENT OF 25 DIRECTORS:Â CORPORATE-SALARIES-CITY