Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Harmer Replacement Waits in the Wings

One short day to vet a possible new Community & Economic Development Department Director

This morning's Scott Schwebke story confirms the tip we reported last night, regarding retiring Community and Economic Department Director Dave Harmer's likely replacement:

(Scott) Waterfall may replace Harmer as director

Aside from the short resume presented in Mr. Schwebke's article, we really don't know much about this fellow who may be appointed to a $107 thousand dollar Godfrey "A" Team slot as early as this evening.

Unless the council puts this matter over for a further hearing, we have less than one day to vet this guy.

If any of our readers can provide further information on Mr. Waterfall, we'd suggest they do it here.

Before closing we'll also make note of Mr. Waterfall's reported academic credentials in accounting. Is it possible that Mr. Waterfall could be ideally qualified to account for the 275 missing parking spaces that Mr. Harmer was unable to find, during the last months of his C&ED department directorship?

Just a thought.


disgusted said...

if we are going to pay someone $107,000 plus a year i sure think that person should be full time and not also filling another position for 10 hours per week.

curious 1 said...

What ward does he belong too? And I think $107K is way too much, where do we have the money to pay these high salaries for a part time worker?

dap said...

Who says he part-time?

Curmudgeon said...

Dap's right. Nothing in the article suggests he will be part-time. If he puts in a full work work [40 hours I guess], then what he does on his own time is his own business.

Curmudgeon said...

Just finished Mr. Schwebke's story. And I'm wondering [again] why in the world we [SE readers] need to know that a candidate for a city job is married, has seven children [four girls, three boys] and that his wife is named Nancy. What the devil does any of that have to do with the story? Would Hizzonah have chosen someone else if Mr. Waterfall's wife was named Ethel, or if he had four boys and three girls, or only three kids --- or none? Seems the kind of thing the West Overshoe Weekly and Price Current might put in a story... next to the story about the pancake breakfast fund raiser over at the Methodist church hall where "a good time was had by all." But in a story about a major appointment in city management in an urban daily? Why?

Sustainable growth said...

I personally don't vote for anyone who advertises that they have more than 2 kids. Anybody who is having more than 2 kids these days (that is one to replace the father and one to replace the mother) is nothing but irresponsible and is not someone I want making policy decisions!

momba said...
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momba said...
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what will it cost us said...

With home prices down 20%, unemployment at a high rate, water rates through the roof does city hall have an unlimited budget to hire a liason to the City Council x-mayor Goff, Scott Brown who publicly dress down some members of the City Coucil with a rant and rave and another community and economic development director for $107K when more than 1/2 the promised developments for the city are still not happening? Where is the retail to get the shoppers downtown again? Do the unemployable line up at the mayors desk? Mr. Waterfall will still work his judges bench at 10 hours a week and still be aan attorney, so which job will only be part time?

When will the city start to count their pennies like real citizens are now doing? Where is the Wal-Mart, River Project even started yet or is he waiting for all of them to burn down and collect the insurance while our fire department goes without needed equipment. How about the deficits for gas that our police and fire department are having right now.

I'm tired of our elected officials hiring friends and neigbors and supporters when we are in a serious economic crunch. Or what will be put off for next and the next year. And don't try and explain the the Mt. Ogden Golf Couse is the reason we need to sell it and pay for the cities needs.

RudiZink said...

Two Momba comments moveed to new article

danny said...

Scott Waterfall seems completely unqualified for a $107,000 per year job in economic development.

It appears he's being hired for his legal, ie, persuasive skills.

On the other hand, he has nice hair and I like his eyes and his smile.

I say, Scotty my man, come over and lets go for a walk while you tell me some funny stories and smile pretty, but you're not qualified for the CED job, at all.

Unless his job is to con the council more successfully than Harmer did. Yeah, that's it. Godfrey needs no consulting, just foot soldiers. Okay, makes sense now.

lets get it done said...

I wonder if he and the police chief are going to be golfing buddies now that they are both part time in doing things for the city, but are collecting a full time salary.

Curmudgeon said...

Let's Get it:

Once again, nothing in the article indicates Mr. Waterfall, if he gets the job, will be working part time for the city.

disgusted said...

nothing in the article indicates that he is qualified to be a community and economic development director either. let alone one that should be hired at the top of the wage scale for that position.
if you hadnt noticed judges usually work during normal business hours. the same time of day that community and business development directors work. additionally salary people in those types of positions usually dont just work 40 hours work weeks either.
looks like part time to me.

RudiZink said...

Good point, disgusted. Not only that, there's no indication Mr. Waterfall will be giving up his interest in his law firm either.

Will Waterfall try to try to juggle a law practice "on the side," along with his lucrative job of playing Justice Court Judge?

If so, that'll be three jobs he'll be working.

And Curm... the whole purpose of a salary is to guarantee that a high-priced salaried executive will available to work around the clock, if necessary. Executive salaries are NOT pegged to a forty-hour clock.

Let's get real. We have a practicing attorney on the city council right now, and even Mr. Johnson can't make all city council meetings and supplementary sessions.

hmmm? said...

I wonder if the freeze includes the position being vacated by Harmer?

From: Godfrey, Matthew
Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 12:53
To: All Ogden City Users

Ogden City Team,

In recent employee meetings I pledged to keep you informed concerning the latest budget information. As stated in those meetings the city had previously “frozen” 2% to cover projected revenue shortfalls. If you have been watching or reading the news you can see that the global economy has become much worse in recent weeks. The State of Utah recently reduced the budget by approximately $285 million. We have learned that they will need to further reduce that budget another $50-$75 million. Most cities in the state are feeling the same revenue constraints.

Beginning today we are “freezing” another 2% to cover anticipated revenue shortfalls. In addition we have put into place a hiring freeze. Our hope is that these are temporary steps to resolve our current slowdown in revenue growth. Last month several other cities in the state experienced similar sales tax growth: West Valley -3.6%, St. George -7.7%, Park City -3.5%, Orem -3.3% and Ogden -2.8%. As you can see we are not alone in our economic struggles. We have heard of several cities who are taking similar steps to control expenditures in anticipation of revenue shortfalls. We ask for your patience and help during this challenging time.

Thanks for all you do.

Matthew Godfrey

WhatWardRUin said...

The starting salary for this position is around $85,000/yr. with a top range of about $107,00 /yr. Since Mr. Waterfall claerly has no credetials or experiance to merit the top salary it seems prudent to me that he should be paid commensurate with his resume'. Start him at $85,000 with the potential to earn more once he has proven he is capable serving as CED Director. Godfrey started Harmer at the top salary and he never met up to his resume'. What exactly are the minimum requirements to land an appointment to be CED Director? Seems odd that the City Attorney (law degree required) and the City Public Works Director (engineering degree required) are the two lowest paid Director's in the City; behind police and fire chiefs (no degree required ?), management services director (no degree required ?), and CED director (no degree required ?)

disgusted said...

city council should freeze the hiring of the position of community and economic development director that godfrey is trying to fill.
with godfrey realizing that the global economy is becoming much worse and our citys need to reduce its budget what better place to save money than in the reduction of a position that will surely feel the effects of the economic slowdown.

Thomas L. said...

Having our mayor pick a totally inexperienced person to hold such a big time job in his administration would be just about as dumb as a major presidential candidate picking an inexperienced running mate!

Is our mayor really that clueless? Does he really have that big a disregard for the welfare of the citizens of Ogden that he would saddles us with paying out a huge salary to an incompetent (in business) person in such a difficult economic time?

Or is Mr. Godfey anticipating that all the projects that he and Mr. Harmer got the city into are now going to require a lawyer to deal with them? Like the Windsor project for example.

Dorrene Jeske said...

After a closed executive session that was about 40 minutes long, the council assembled back in the Chambers and voted unanimously for Scott Waterfall to replace Dave Harmer.

I would like to say why I voted "aye" for hiring Mr. Waterfall. 1. He answered all my questions satisfactorily. 2. I was impressed with his philosophy on spending and saving for a rainy day. I was very impressed with his philosophy on ethics, economic develoment during a depressed economy and working with people. I believe he will be a real asset to the Godfrey administration. That is about all I can say without revealing what was said in the closed session. I do believe he will be an excellent CED director. He does have experience in development projects and several successful businesses of his own.

Angry employee said...

I've been working for the city for years, had my wages frozen, will never get a COLA again. The pay for performance program was chosen for us by the city, we had no say in it (doesn't really matter, it will never be funded anyway).
When a friend of Matt's gets hired he goes right to the top of the pay range.
Come on Ogden, kick me in the nuts one more time!

curious 1 said...

Thanks Dorrene for your comments and judgement. But I do agree that new hires should start at the entry level rather than be maxed out before they step in the door. It would seem to de-moralize the city staff who are doing a good job and then told there isn't enough in the city coffers for a pay raise while the mayor hires people in high paying positions.

Curmudgeon said...

Seems to me much of this on-line heart-burning is another case of "bash the man because Godfrey appointed him." I don't know exactly what the job requirements of a successful Development Director are, but I do know, now, that the City Council --- not known of late for rubber stamping administration recommendations --- unanimously approved the appointment. Good enough for me as far as the hire goes. [And thank you Councilwoman Jeske for your take on the man.]

As for the pay: if it's in line with what development heads of similar sized cities get, I don't have a problem with it.

As for whether the job should be filled at all in the midst of the Bush recession: seems to me it could reasonably be argued that in such parlous times, the job of DevDir is more important than in flush times.

In any case, Mr. Waterfall deserves now to be assessed on the basis of the job he does, not on the basis of predictions based in no small part, I think, on the mere fact that Godfrey nominated him. He's got a rough row to hoe. He's got to work with Ogden's spectacularly ham-fisted Mayor who has, often, no clue about how to do public administration well.

Waterfall may turn out to have been a poor appointment. He may turn out OK. He may turn out to be very successful. We'll have to await the outcome and judge him on his performance in the office, rather than simply on the fact that the Mayor chose him.

Dorrene Jeske said...

I agree with you, Angry Employee and Curious 1 and I did protest, as you both have, but the Mayor was steadfast in his stand on salary. Believe me, any objections that you can come up with the Council brought up and asked of either the Mayor or Mr. Waterfall. His salary as the CED dorector will be much less than he makes as an attorney.

I'd love to share all the questions that Mr. Waterfall was asked and his responses, but that is not possible or I would be violating the confidentiality of the closed executive session. The Council did appoint an honest, ethical and very qualified person who is willing to give his all to the city.

bullet sponge said...

Thanks for the insight, Dorrene. Words of praise for Mr. Waterfall from you go a long way in my book. Keep up the good work!

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