|Cathy Allen clams up|
Allen's 19% Payhike. - Just two weeks ago, Lamont McClure had asked Executive John Brown to provide the legal authority under which he awarded Cathy Allen a 19% payraise in her first year. That included a three-step jump, which normally requires Council approval, as well as a "temporary" raise that is apparently still in effect. Her salary jumped from $57,460 to $65,603. Brown justified the increase because Allen had assumed "significant responsibilities" for insurance programs, workman's compensation and labor negotiations.He increased her wages again when she assumed HR duties.
Brown told McClure he'd provided his authority, but never did.At Council last night, Solicitor Ryan Durkin quoted from a policy manual, but ineffectually. Council has asked its own Solicitor, Phil Lauer, to look into the matter.
Was Allen Really Planning This Raise? - That's what she told Council's Personnel Committee yesterday, and what she told Council tonight. She indicated she had been planning this for sometime, and made sure the money for these raises was in the budget before it was adopted.
Council is skeptical. Hayden Phillips believes that, if this was being planned, Council would have known about it.
In fairness to Allen, I did hear about a month ago that Allen was planning something, and that I would be surprised. So I do not think she deliberately misled anyone. But this is yet another demonstration of the Brown Administration's lack of transparency.
Allen Refuses to Publicly Address Werner. - Close to the end of the meeting, Bob Werner complained that he had asked for a report concerning the state's bridge bundling program, but that no one was present. He went on to indicate that he had asked Allen to have Public Works present, and over a week ago. Allen answered from her seat, but refused to go to the podium, so the public could hear what she was saying, in violation of the Sunshine Act. Then she just refused to respond to Werner at all.
Ironically, this infuriated Republican Mat Benol, who has been a Brown ally. He pointed out that the Council has subpoena powers, and suggested Council exercise them if the Administration refuses to respond to requests for information.
Though government is unwieldy and inefficient, it works best when the people in it are open about what they do. That is Allen's chief drawback. It is also a major shortcoming of Luis Campos and Executive John Brown.