Let’s face it, we still have a lot of questions. Why would anyone leave a successful business they helped build in the private sector to work in city government? I don’t know the answer to that question.
We also don’t know how Jason’s salary was compiled when he lacks a college degree and is solely based on the last person’s pay.
We do know that Mayor TenHaken is extremely happy about his pick since he has been having difficulty getting people from the private sector to work for him. My guess is because of how the last mayor ran the place like a dictatorship. Nobody wants to work for a dictator.
Even if all 8 councilors voted against his appointment, I still believe Paul has the power to override the consent. I do believe Jason will be appointed on a (7-1) vote. Even councilors I talked to who may have their reservations about Jason understand that the Mayor has the executive power to appoint anyone to his team, and they certainly won’t stand in the way of his duties. It’s really his responsibility.
But a bigger question still remains that I think I will try to answer. How can a mayor appoint someone to this highly technical post without the professional experience?
Well this didn’t start with TenHaken or even Bucktooth & Bowlcut, or Dave or Gary, this kind of culture of political appointments has been around for a long time. Only in the last administration we saw it to be more obvious. Corporate marketing types like to surround themselves with other corporate marketing types in some strange attempt to ‘change’ government to run more like a business. While some aspects of that may have worked under the last dude, it certainly didn’t look good for the taxpayers debt load, increased taxes and fees, transparency in government and public trust.
I was hoping Paul would have seen that, but apparently not.
Corporate gurus in government often replace their best talent with people like them. We saw this with Debra Owen. Not only a talented City Clerk, legislative researcher, but one heck of a lawyer. She wore 3 hats well and did it for a lot less pay. It took 3 people to replace her (with a lot less experience and no law degrees) with a combined salary of around $230K.
As I have told several councilors over the past few days that Jason will get easily frustrated with the speed in which government moves. He will also find out that hiring and firing civil service employees isn’t an easy task. He may also get discouraged by having to make important decisions in the open with other directors, city councilors and the public instead of behind closed doors in a corporate board room and a Crown Royal in his hand.
If anything we can take from Councilor Stehly’s Facebook kerfuffle is that Jason is easily tempered. Can he calm these reactions once he starts working for the citizens? Not sure.
While I hope he does good things, and I think he probably has some good ideas, otherwise Paul wouldn’t be so Gung Ho in hiring him, I think he will become easily frustrated and probably not make it very long in city government. But I wish him well in the short time he will be working for us.