City manager's sweet deal leaves sour taste

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Harlan Moore's got a sweet deal with the city of Nevada -- it's sweet for Moore, but it leaves a sour taste in the palates of many of Nevada's citizens.

The city will be paying a full-time salary to a part-time city manager -- he's only required to work three days a week. Over the course of a year, that means employees, businesses, and citizens won't have access to a city manager for 20 weeks and four days. He also has 120 hours of paid vacation. That's 15 days. Three weeks, for those of us with five-day workweeks. Five weeks for Moore.

In essence, through this contract, this council has opted to hire a city manager who will work the equivalent of seven months out of the year at a salary most would find high for a 12-month position.

Councilmembers said they were pleased he'd accepted the offer.

Who wouldn't?

But councilmembers, some of whom balked at "selling out" the people with a raise in water and sewer rate structures, who cut salaries and services because there's not enough money are willing to pay what seems an extravagant full-time salary for the part-time services of a city manager. Although some disapproval was voiced about the workweek, councilmembers voted unanimously in favor of the contract.

There are, in fact, some good reasons to keep Moore on -- he's become familiar with the city and its workings since becoming interim city manager six months ago, and with a budget approval deadline -- the end of December -- approaching, it's an inopportune time to bring a new administrator on board.

Nevertheless, Moore's contract is a slap in the face to the hardworking city employees who put in full time hours and have lost benefits in the name of saving the city money.

-- Nevada Daily Mail