The retirement of Boise Parks Director Jim Hall has prompted a “nationwide search” for a replacement with a promised salary of at least $100,000. But wait there’s more! It looks like Boise has taken a page from WallStreet when it comes to executive compensation.
A city worker sent the following info regarding the job to the GUARDIAN:
Salary: $100K minimum.
21 Days vacation days to start(regular employees start at 10 days, 15 after 5 years,
Unused vacation days are purchased by the City (an option NOT available to regular
4.5% match to voluntary deferred compensation program (Regular employees: .5% for the first
five years of service, 1.0% for the next five years)
“So….the more you make, the more the taxpayer lavishes you with perks. I know, I
know, it’s a competitive market, blah blah blah. I’m guessing that anyone who takes
a good look at the Boise P&R system will see a very nice picture: well funded
department, facilities in great shape, city-wide public support, engagement of the
business community, beautiful, safe little city: what’s not to like? So why do the
taxpayers need to shell out these big fat incentives to get someone to take the job?
Why isn’t the bonus of living in Boise Idaho enough for the big cheeses, since it’s
supposed to make up for low pay to every other public employee (oops, not to the
football coach, but the same argument applies.)
Anyway, this is how public systems go bankrupt. The money flows disproportionately
to the top. Don’t blame the rank and file.”
Sour grapes? Maybe not. The practice of having two compensation formulas–not rates–pretty much sends a message that bosses are more important than worker bees. Not only do the top brass get polished with a high salary, they have different rules. The deferred comp match on a $100,000 salary is worth $4,500 to a department head. However his subordinates making $30,000 get a whopping $150. The Big Boys can “convert” unused vacation time cash each February, but not the worker bees.
Boise City Councilors need to review the policies with an eye to cutting the benefits that are tacked onto the already high paying jobs.
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