I was glad to see that most city union employees are getting a raise (Resolutions 41-44).

While the police, fire and regular staff are getting a 6.5% COLA, council employees are getting 3.5%.

This really could have been negotiated last Fall when the administration knew there was high inflation. Instead they screwed around with a bonus before the election and now this first quarter raise.

Like I said, it is good to see this is happening as our city employees are taxpayer assets that need to be taken care of, I just don’t understand the piece meal approach.

Several years ago, now retired Minnehaha County Commissioner, Jeff Barth suggested that Sioux Falls City Councilors impose an ordinance that requires employers within the city limits list their salary in want ads. Not only is it a good idea, employers who do list wages usually get better and more applicants. We all know why some don’t list the salary, because it ain’t squat and most people see thru the ruse and don’t apply. Senator Reynold Nesiba is proposing such a thing statewide;

A private employer with one hundred or more employees shall disclose in each job posting the hourly or salary compensation or range of the hourly or salary compensation and a general description of all benefits and other compensation to be offered to the hired, promoted, or transferred applicant or employee. Such disclosure shall not affect the applicant’s ability to negotiate compensation or benefits.

As you can see, this would only affect larger employers. While a great idea that has proven to have beneficial opportunities to employees and employers it will likely die in committee because one of the legislators wives on the committee will cry about paying her 10 year old niece minimum wage to make goat cheese soap candles in the barn.

I was actually surprised that large salary increases for directors were at a minimum this time around. Click on links below to view documents;

2022 salaries

2023 salaries

The list is pretty short of who got big ones. As I projected when the debate about giving the mayor a raise during the last election was floated and turned down by the voters, that due to inflation, the mayor and city council would still get very good pay increases even without voter approval.

• Mayor Paul TenHaken: $12,000+

• Angie Uthe, Assistant Director of Human Resources: $9,400+

• Kurt Peppel, Assistant City Engineer: $9,000+

• Matthew McArearey, Fire Chief, $8,400+

• Dr. Jennifer Tinguely, Chief Medical Officer: $7,800+

• Shana Nelson, former Audit Manager and now City Housing Compliance Manager went from making $90K to $97K. A $7,000 raise isn’t bad for jumping the council’s ship. Still would love to know what happened. Maybe one of these days Alex Jensen who was her direct supervisor as council chair will spill the beans, yeah right!

• Erica Beck, Mayor’s Chief of Staff: $6,000+

Speaking of directors, I have noticed lately that the city council loves to spend several minutes at each informational meeting complimenting the directors and mid-managers who are doing presentations. That’s great, and everyone appreciates a thank you when you do your job. But the gushing is out of control. Many directors receive at least a 6-figure salary, a pension and other benefits. They are well compensated for ‘doing their jobs’. A simple ‘Thank You’ should suffice. Selberg, Jensen and Soehl are the worst of the bunch (Barranco is even joining the ‘your so wonderful’ crowd). Like I said, everyone deserves a thank you for a job well done, but the plump paychecks these public employees are taking home should be thanks enough.

I also find it ironic considering the piss poor job the engineering department did on vetting the bid for the 6th Street Unity Bridge and the fact that Council Chair Soehl is continually bitching about how long the meetings can go. Maybe grab director Bob in the hallway and tell him thank you after the meeting instead blowing smoke and gobbling up time with your requiems of appreciation.

UPDATE: The city has the correct 2023 salaries posted now. I wonder what poor sap in IT had to upload this at 8:05 AM today?

It’s that time of the year, a quick look at what kind of salary increases city directors received this year. If you go to the link and click on it, you get this;

Oops! It even says that the city posted the new spreadsheet on January 13, 2023.

This of course is NO surprise. The city really struggles with dates on public documents. Probably have to hold a staff meeting and special council meeting to remedy it.

He is now having directors double up on their duties;

Shawn Pritchett, who has served in the role of finance director since late 2018, will now also be the director of innovation and technology for the city, following the council’s unanimous approval of TenHaken’s appointment.

It is getting pretty obvious that PTH is struggling to recruit people to work for him, which he even admits;

TenHaken called Pritchett an “obvious choice” for the role, and candidly noted that he was “0 for 3” in directors of the department during his administration, which he said was one thing that made him want to look inside for a new director.

He is actually ‘0 for 12+’ when it comes to directors. I have lost count. Why is it that people either don’t want to work for Paul’s administration or only last a short time?

Maybe he needs to start merging other department heads? Like Fire and Police? Parks and Rec with Entertainment facilities? If we can’t find people to work for this mayor maybe we could just consolidate?