David Molgaard, City Manager Extraordinaire (or so he says....).
Well, Charleston City Manager David Molgaard has been on the job approximately 3 years, and now is asking for a raise. Evidently, he's SO good (coughbullcrapcough), that other cities around the country are now clamoring to give him a huge raise if he would only come and be their city manager. In last Friday's Daily Mail, there was an article about this, but aside from that, it seems to have slipped under the radar.
Yes, we have another instance of a top government official trotting out the "but in OTHER states (cities in this case) they pay someone like me X dollars." Of course, that logic never seems to apply when the government workers are the actual workers, like cops, or firemen, or office workers, or whatever. Nooooooooooo, you can't use that logic to justify higher salaries for those types of workers. But when a top-level suckass wants a raise in WV, they immediately drag this argument out without any hesitation. And even more disgusting is, Danny Worker Tax Jones' response. He's all FOR paying Molgaard more money. According to Jones, "Losing Molgaard is not an option," and that Molgaard manages Charleston, "into surplus after surplus each year."
Are you kidding me? Danny Jones thinks the surplus is Molgaard's doing? What about the freaking worker tax that was basically a 2 million per year windfall the last two years? What exactly did Molgaard have to do with that aside from lugging bags of money into city hall from the user fee account? Last I checked, the City Manager didn't have a damn thing to do with it. Danny says, "Hey Dave, guess what? I just soaked the poor working schmucks in Charleston for 2 million per year, have fun spending it." And the surplus is HIS doing? Hell, give me half that additional revenue, and I'd have Charleston in a surplus too. And if we've got all these surpluses, that are evidently Molgaard's doing, then I don't see where there is a burning need to raise revenue, in the form of the worker tax. Dannyboy can't have it both ways. He can't trumpet the great job Molgaard is doing by leaving surpluses, and then cry poverty to get the worker tax, and the hotel motel increase (and remember, the hotel tax indirectly caused the cell phone fee to double too). Either the city's got extra money, or it doesn't.
Molgaard makes about $79,000 per year, but other "comparable" cities pay their managers sometimes twice that much. Danny Jones' chief leg-humper, Rod Blackstone, was quick with the facts and figures to support giving Molgaard a raise:
Wilson, N.C., which has a population of 45,921, has posted its city manager's position at up to $130,000 to start. Durham, N.C. advertised last year that they would pay its manager up to $145,000. The city of Frankfort, Ky., with its population of 27,741 -- a little more than half of Charleston's -- in a city manager posting listed the salary as $100,000, Blackstone found. In all, 40 southern cities smaller than Charleston all pay their city managers more. The median salary for city managers in the south for cities the size of Charleston is $143,365. The city of Hurricane hired Ben Newhouse as its manager on a $58,000 salary, which works out to be $10 per resident. Molgaard's salary equals about $1.49 per resident, Blackstone found.Oh, and Molgaard won't come forward with the cities' names that have contacted him about stealing him away. But, Danny and his chief leg-humper don't need any specifics. Just the mere possibility that someone may have spoken to Molgaard (and the only one we can trust for this information, is Molgaard himself - how convenient) about being their city manager, will suffice for a full court press to pay Molgaard what other cities will pay theirs.
Of course, when you have basically an unlimited cash reservoir such as the worker tax, also known as taxation without representation, I guess squeezing an extra 15 or 20 thousand dollars out of the budget for Molgaard, won't be such a problem. But if some actual city worker asked for a raise? "Noooo, we don't have any money," would be Jones' answer.
And in keeping with something I mentioned in the Rick Staton entry the other day, this crap about politicians are sacrificing for the public good, has GOT to stop. The Daily Mail article implies that Molgaard left his 15 year law practice to become city manager, and its salary of $79,000 . And as far as I can tell, Molgaard didn't have ANY experience as a city manager before he was hired 3 years ago. I bet there are few (if any) city managers around the country that would be hired in to manage a city the size of Charleston, without any previous experience. And now he wants more money? Well boo freaking hoo. Nobody was putting a gun to his head. He knew what the salary was when he took that job. Besides, everyone is always talking about what out of control government benefits employees get? Well, Molgaard gets those too. Figure them in on top of his salary, and I bet Molgaard makes well over $90,000 per year, if not over $100,000.
That's the same line of crap the politicians use when any of the lower tier government workers use the "but employee x in state y makes more than me....." Molgaard knew the salary when he signed on. If he's got a better offer (and, again, the only one claiming that at this point, is Molgaard himself - how convenient for Molgaard), he should take it, and not try some phantom extortion scheme on the taxpayers for more money. If he can't hack it on $79,000 per year in WV, he probably shouldn't be Charleston's city manager anyway. I say good riddance. There's Greyhounds leaving for North Carolina every day. Be on the next one, Dave.