City Government

How To Say “Yes” In 1,000 Words or More

Back on November 2 we ran a short story about what appeared to be a STAFF EXPANSION at City Hall in the office of Mayor. Turns out it is indeed an expansion–sort of.

We repeatedly asked Team Dave’s press agent for information (was it expansion, replacement, shift of personnel, filling a vacancy, etc.?) and he stonewalled. This past week we filed a formal request for public documents and hit the mother lode when it comes to juicy tidbits and obfuscation (“render obscure, unclear, or unintelligible” for you non-library types).

Short version is they lost a fulltimer at the office of Police Ombudsman due to lack of police misconduct. The ombudsman will use a part time investigator as needed. They moved some funds around and got another assistant for Team Dave for about $25K extra. It is all explained in this MEMO TO COUNCIL from Jade Riley, the guy who really runs city government for Team Dave:

I wanted to provide you with some additional information regarding hiring an Administrative Assistant within the Mayor’s Office as outlined in my October 19th memo (attached). Initially, I was requesting that Council approve increasing the current vacant FTE from .73 to full-time. After further discussions, however, we have developed a strategy to achieve this result without any change in citywide FTE allocation.

The revised proposal seeks to reallocate resources between the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Finance & Administration. The Mayor’s Office would repurpose a vacant 0.73 FTE with PCN and budget from the Assistant Ombudsman position, and DFA would transfer 0.27 FTE without the PCN or associated budget from an existing vacant 1.0 FTE position in the City Clerk’s office.

The remaining budget necessary to complete the position in the Mayor’s Office (approximately $25,000) would come from the workforce contingency controlled by Human Resources. Because DFA is not eliminating the position, its budget would remain in its department. The net effect of this transfer would be budget-neutral and would not result in an FTE increase. This is an approach used by departments citywide to adjust to changing customer demands, workloads and economic conditions.

While the above reallocation of resources does not require Council approval, I would appreciate feedback by Tuesday, November 3rd regarding this approach before moving forward with filling the position.

Say wha?? STILL no word if they hired anyone or who it may be.


A mayor’s assistant job was created
Without even being debated
What the Mayor’s guy wrote
Is too long to quote
As Riley’s position is “Jaded”!

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Brianthedog
    Dec 15, 2009, 9:36 pm

    How in the world does the Ombudsman make nearly the same as the Mayor? That does not make sense? Does he set his own salary? I am totally shocked.

  2. Thanks Editor! I knew I didn’t just dream the CareerBuilder ad! I woulda applied but I speak plain, short English and journalese only. Nice follow up.

  3. untamedshrew
    Dec 15, 2009, 10:16 pm

    Huge huge news! Thanks Guardian for breaking this big story about the city hiring an administrative assistant.

    Where the hell do we live anyway? Mayberry?

    Perhaps you should ask Mr. Riley to write his memos in a way that you can understand.

  4. Holy Kazoo!!!! No wonder Bieter is so hung up on a “choo-choo”!! He doesn’t have ANYTHING else to do!!!! And all this time I thought he just naturally wandered around in a fog. PLEASE, would someone on the staff give him something to do!!

  5. Follow the Money
    Dec 16, 2009, 10:19 am

    I don’t understand why Mr. Bieter, who already has 6 Administrative assistants, (some of whom get paid MORE than he does), could possibly need any more help. Most corporate execs have 1 admin assistant.I am sure he is returning favors here, but how can this be justified???
    I always thought jobs paid more in the private sector, but in this case those admin. assistants are earning twice what the job would pay in the real world.

  6. Hey! Angry woman. By the timeline on your post, you are over your city paid coffee break by one minute! I know you fancy yourself in Manhatten, but sadly it is just one step above Mayberry. And we like it that way!

  7. Rod In SE Boise
    Dec 16, 2009, 12:37 pm

    If city council members actually work 40 hours, they should get more than $19,300. Maybe the Mayor and his top assistants should get less so that the councilmen and women can be fairly compensated.

  8. Casual Observer
    Dec 16, 2009, 7:31 pm

    I like the email alerts. It lets me know that maybe, just maybe, there is a real issue being discussed here.

  9. It is all about politics and power
    Dec 17, 2009, 1:12 am

    Interesting that the Asst to the mayor makes more than the mayor – maybe he is really running the city.

    Looks like the mayor plays like the President – get elected and pass out a ton of jobs to insolate yourself and reward the faithful.

  10. This is why we need to look at a city manager form of government. Why not hire a highly qualified person to run the city in the first place and do away with all the “assistants”. Most of the people in elected office would not make it to the interview part of the hiring process if these were real jobs.

    If you look at all the money it takes to support a Mayor and his boys and girls he has around him it would scare the hell out of most people. Just cut to the chase and hire a city manager. Ditto for the county commissioners.

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