According to the County's Human Resources Office, the Director of Administration should have the following education and training:
* Education equivalent to completion of a bachelor's degree program with major course work in public or business administration.Allen has none of this. She has a high school education with no real involvement with personnel, labor relations or other administrative functions. She has only supervised herself in her two man office in the private sector because the other worker there, Marino Saveri, was her boss. She has served on a borough council for five years, and one that had a very capable manager.
* Extensive public administration experience, which has included significant involvement with personnel, labor relations, or other administrative function, including two years in a supervisory position.
* Or any equivalent combination of acceptable training and experience which has provided the knowledges, skills and abilities cited above.
Knowledge and Skills
According to Human Resources, a Director of Administration should possess the following knowledge and skills:
* Comprehensive knowledge of the public administration principles and practices commonly employed in the planning, direction and control of an organization providing Countywide administrative services.Nothing in Allen's background shoes a comprehensive knowledge of public administration, personnel, labor issues or supervisory practices.
* Comprehensive knowledge of goals, objectives, methods and techniques applicable to the management of personnel and labor relations programs.
* Comprehensive knowledge of functions, organization and operations commonly found in government at the local level.
* Thorough knowledge of supervisory principles and practices.
* Ability to organize, direct and coordinate the activities of several organizational subdivisions engaged in separate functions.
* Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with associates, elected officials, representatives of the Court, other County, State and Federal agencies, and the public.
* Ability to express ideas and communicate County policy on technical and/or administrative subjects, both orally and in writing.
Under the County's own Human Resources policies, she's unqualified. But what disturbs me even more is her participation in unethical and nontransparent policy in Bangor Borough.
Allen's Saveri Connection
In 1984, Allen began working for Marino Saveri at Diversified Financial Planners, Inc. In addition to his work there, Saveri managed to get himself elected to Bangor Borough Council, then coaxed the Borough Authority into paying him monthly.. He eventually became Administrator there, while retaining his seat on Borough Council in an obvious ethical conflict.
Another Council member, Bonnie LaBar, began attending Borough Authority meetings, and was paid $200 per month to do so.So she became involved in the ethical conflict as well.
I should point out that the Borough Council stipend was $50 per month, though it recently has gone up to $100. LaBar, and presumably Saveri before her, waived the Borough Council salary. But they were making much more with what they received from the Bangor Borough Authority.
This went on for six years under LaBar.
Last year, around the time that Saveri left his seat on Borough Council, this practice was stopped. At the October 2013 meeting, after hearing from the Solicitor that the practice was illegal, Cathy Allen was a member of Borough Council herself.
Allen voted to continue sending LaBar to the Authority despite the legal problem. She was outvoted.
When Saveri resigned, Allen pushed to have Stephanie Merlo, Saveri's goddaughter, replace him. Merlo was a volunteer coach at Pius X who was soon thereafter charged with corrupting the morals of a minor. She was selected as a result of a tie-breaking vote cast by then Mayor John Brown.
Merlo resigned the day after she was charged. But Allen kept this information about a public official secret for nearly a month despite media inquiries and requests from other Council members.
It appears to me that Allen has picked up bad habits as Saveri's protege. She lacks transparency. Also, she seems more than willing to permit unethical behavior, even when it is pointed out by the Council Solicitor.
While the Executive's choice for Administrator is entitled to great weight, the argument can be made that Allen is unqualified. I would go along with this pick under these three conditions:
1) She must resign her seat on Bangor Borough Council because it presents too many opportunities for mischief, and Allen's own record reveals an amazing insensitivity to ethical concerns;
2) She must agree to a background check.
3) She should not start at $88,000. Her initial salary should be about half that amount.