Sunday, June 28, 2009

Yesterday's Emerald City News Today

Tell us it ain't true, Virginia: The ever-financially tight-fisted Boss Godfrey uncovers possible "double dipping" in Emerald City?

Fascinating story in yesterday's Standard-Examiner. The ever-financially tight-fisted Boss Godfrey alleges that somebody at The Marshal White Center may have been "double dipping." Read the troubling details here:
Did Ogden employee double dip at center?
The story is still young enough that nobody's naming names yet, but we found these Ace Reporter Schwebke paragraphs to be highly illuminating:
"You can't work the same hours and get paid by two organizations," he [Godfrey] said.
John Patterson, the city's chief administrative officer, said the double payment had been going on since September.
The city's personnel policy prohibits employees on the clock from moonlighting for another organization. "Employees may not receive any income or material gain from others outside the city for materials produced or services rendered while performing their jobs with the city," the policy states.
(Okay, we know you've probably already guessed where we're going with this.)

What about Ogden Police Chief/State Senator Greiner? As our six-figure salary-compensated police chief, he's supposed to be available to do his job 24/7, No? He's supposed to be constantly "on the clock," isn't he? Yet as everyone knows, he spends at least 45 days per year lolling around the state legislature, and probably at least an equal amount of time attending committee meetings and caucuses when the legislature is out of session, even while drawing his full Ogden City salary. So will Mr. Schwebke soon be reporting that Boss Godfrey is cracking down on Chief Greiner... for his own "double dipping?" It seems to us that what's good for the goose is also appropriate for the gander.

And what about our newly appointed Community & Economic Development Director Scott Waterfall? Has he continued to draw his own Ogden City six-figure salary while still simultaneously working in his highly lucrative law practice? Strangely, nobody seems to have seen either hide or hair of him since his appointment in October. Has he resigned from his law firm and closed up his law practice? Is he busting his butt behind the scenes serving Ogden City alone? Or is this another egregious example of double dipping?

And please don't tell us that these anti-double dipping rules only apply to the "little people."

We'll add that we''re sorry to be tardy in highlighting yesterday's Std-Ex article; but we'll also note in passing that we believe we were unfairly criticized in the Std-Ex comments section yesterday, for failing to promptly highlight this most troubling double dipping story.

For the record, we've had the audacity to take most of the weekend off, as we often do (whether anyone notices it or not.)

And to be slightly more specific... let's just say that we've been "hiking the Appalachian Trail," and leave it at that. Okay? [Grin].

Have at it, O Gentle Ones.

5 comments:

Dan S. said...

Rudi,

The anti-double-dipping rules apply only to the little people.

The policy prohibits employees "on the clock" from double dipping, but there apparently is no such policy for salaried employees--though there should be.

RudiZink said...

It's a distinction without a difference, methinks.

Bill C. said...

Aren't alot of the department heads in Ogden double dipping? Mathieu the fire chief comes to mind.

A Humble Public Servant said...

I can’t understand why everyone thinks that collecting a retirement while working is double dipping in the manner as stated in the policy of Ogden City. It’s not! There are many police officers that have done it, line officers and not just chiefs. Once an officer, rather a chief or not, has completed their twenty years, who is anyone to tell them that they cannot retire and return to work after 6 months? It is within the rules of the state retirement system and within Ogden City Policy. If you don’t like the law then have it changed, but quit bitching because they follow the law! The State pays the retirement and the City pays the wage. You act as though the city has to foot the bill for both! I know officers that have retired from the military and have come to work as police officers. Should we not let them? What about the retired school teacher who is now a very effective DARE officer? Fire Him?

The plain fact is that Ogden City and its citizens benefit from the experience of retired individuals who otherwise would work somewhere else both in the public safety field and in other areas.

Curmudgeon said...

Humble:

You wrote: It is within the rules of the state retirement system and within Ogden City.

Yes, it is. What we're arguing is, it shouldn't be.

You're also casting the argument much more broadly than most of us are. The problem is when someone retires from a public sector job, then performs the same job, thus drawing his retirement pay and full pay. That's not right.

Nobody has any objection that I know of to a retired public employee taking a private sector job, or going to work for another level of government at a different job. But retiring from a state or city job and then being hired to do it again at full pay for the same state or city strikes me, and apparently many others, as not right.

Some state retirement systems ban the practice outright. Some provide a different remedy: you are eligible for retirement pay after twenty years, but you cannot collect it until you reach age 60 or 65 --- that is, until you actually reach retirement age. [You can of course continue to work for the state for more than twenty years and your retirement pay, when you finally take it, will be higher.] But once you actually file to receive your retirement pay, you have to leave state employment. Seems reasonable to me.

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