Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nice Work If You Can Get It

Pop quiz time. Topic? Compensation of public officials. Get your blue books out. Use as many as you need. Take all the time you want. Open book. Consult with classmates. Whatever it takes to get the right answers.

After the jump, ... begin.

The questions...

  1. The first question is an old one, but it's still good because no one's answered it yet. You may remember the brouhaha back in April caused by Richardson City Manager Bill Keffler's cashing in unused sick leave and vacation time to the tune of $380,000. It was reported that Keffler had accrued 75 weeks of sick leave. 75. Weeks. Sick leave. The question is, just how much sick leave is considered necessary in Richardson?

  2. The second question is related to the first. You may remember the brouhaha caused by the sudden resignation of Richardson ISD Superintendent David Simmons last summer. Supposedly, the severance package he negotiated with the school board paid him $300,000 to walk away from his job. Four months ago, David Simmons took the job of chief officer over high schools for the Houston ISD. Then suddenly, just four months into his new job, he resigned abruptly, effective September 24. Presumably, he'll be collecting a paycheck for his time off until then. According to a report in the Houston Chronicle, "HISD spokesman Norm Uhl explains that Simmons has accrued leave time from working in other Texas school districts." The question is, did David Simmons' hefty severance package with the RISD, which paid him for not working there any longer, also leave any accrued leave time in place for him to cash out at his next job? Just how many times can a public employee collect compensation for not doing the same job?

1 comment:

Mark Steger said...

According to the city's benefits page, 'The employee earns 10 hours [sick leave] each month with unlimited accrual.' 10 hrs/mo equates to 120 hrs/yr, or 3 weeks of sick leave per year, with unlimited accrual. That just seems excessively generous to me. According to this source, half of all Texas workers do not have any sick leave at all. According to this source, even the UAW union benefits (104 hrs/yr) aren't as good as what Richardson city employees get. My 'quiz' question is aimed at getting the city to examine that benefit and justify it.