Michael Quinn Sullivan, whom I’ve written about before on the blog, a guy I really admire and respect, took his shot at Keller today:
When Keller’s city manager eliminated his own position this spring, saying the city didn’t need so many administrators, conservatives and taxpayers cheered someone watching out for the people. Apparently we all cheered too fast. Lots of folks from around the nation jumped on the story. We even dubbed the out-going Keller city manager, Dan O’Leary, an “Honorary Taxpayer Champion.”
But it appears all is not what it seemed. The Fort Worth Star Telegram‘Watchdog’ — Dave Lieber — reported over the weekend that the city didn’t actually save much money, if any. According to Mr. Lieber: The Watchdog has learned that the savings have largely evaporated. After salary increases were granted to four top employees, including the new city manager, only $55,000 in savings are likely, City Manager Steve Polasek said. The raises cost $75,000 in base pay and more in benefits. According to a flowchart presented by Polasek to council, the city is adding a $55,000-a-year management assistant, too. The city — and Mr. O’Leary, who Mr. Lieber reports is starting a new job soon in Duncanville — now say saving money wasn’t really ever their goal. Yep, we should have known; this was city government, after all…
So not only did Keller taxpayers not get savings from the $175,000-plus-benefits salary when O’Leary “eliminated” his own job, but the city is adding a new position to the municipal payroll.
Bottom-line: it looks like a big fat nothing for Keller taxpayers.
As I explained Friday, we all knew of the plans long before they were announced. Nowhere did O’Leary claim to be saving the city his whole salary; he just let the press report how they wanted to report it.
If you look at the number of employees Keller has compared to other cities, you will find that we do a whole lot more with a whole lot less. That includes running a regional dispatch center, a regional jail facility and providing police protection to the City of Westlake.
Saying the citizens got a big fat nothing isn’t the case here. But, as in the original reporting on O’Leary’s resignation, the whole story is different than what was reported.
I ask you this simple question, would you take on a promotion to lead an organization and not expect to be compensated? Especially if you have other options of working for another organization for more money?