Tuesday, February 26, 2002
4 Lebanon jobs may be downsized
Panel: They're overpaid
By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer
LEBANON Four of the city's 144 employees will lose their jobs in the next month if City Council follows the recommendations of its finance committee.
The finance committee composed of Councilmen James Reinhard, James Norris and Norm Dreyer II voted Friday to cut four positions and replace them with three lower-paying ones.
A gross injustice was done to taxpayers and these individuals by the last council by putting these salaries out of whack, Mr. Dreyer said. To ignore it and let it go is not responsible on our part.
The committee probably has the votes on council to make these changes:
Fire Planning Director Marty Kohler, who makes about $70,000 annually, and hire a city planner at a top salary of $59,000.
Fire Information Technology Director Don Senteney, who makes $73,000, and hire an information technology coordinator at up to $57,000.
Eliminate the human resources department manager Carolyn Carlisle and a secretary for a savings of $78,000 in salaries. The duties would be moved to the payroll department, which would get a new clerk with a salary around $25,000.
Mr. Reinhard also wanted to eliminate the parks and recreation director, but he was outvoted.
Legislation enacting the recommendations will likely come to council March 12.
Those who are fired would get five weeks' severance pay. They could apply for the new, lower-paying positions.
Acting City Manager Pat Clements argued Friday against the firings: It is my opinion that the proposed cuts will hurt the organization's morale and cohesiveness.
Councilman Ben Cole, who opposes Mr. Kohler's firing, said there's a suspicion the new council is targeting individuals rather than jobs. Several of those to be fired are supporters of former City Manager James Patrick, whom council pushed out in December.
Similar firings took place two years ago the last time council changed hands. The deputy city manager and assistant city manager were cut, as was Mr. Kohler, then-city planner. Mr. Patrick hired him back in his current job.
In a city that's growing as fast as we are, in a county that's growing as fast as we are, we need a planning director, Mr. Cole said.
But he agreed that cutting the human resources department and the IT position were sensible moves.
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