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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Look! On the wall! Is that handwriting?

We were a little surprised to hear not a peep out of the local media this morning about the lovely parachute that the Portland Development Commission board packed yesterday for the PDC's executive director, Bruce Warner. The commission set up a nice new compensation package for Warner, as follows:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that effective July 1, 2008, Bruce A. Warner shall receive an annual base salary of $179,500 for his service as Executive Director, to be paid in accordance with the Portland Development Commission’s (Commission) regularly established policies;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that except as otherwise provided in this Resolution, Mr. Warner shall be eligible to receive employment benefits as generally provided by the Commission’s policies and benefit plans for its non-represented employees;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that effective July 1, 2008, Mr. Warner shall receive a one-time grant of 40 hours in accrued vacation and approval to accrue vacation, at his current accrual rate, in excess of the Commission’s 250-hour limit;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Mr. Warner shall continue to be eligible for reimbursement of reasonable and ordinary costs associated with the maintenance of his current Professional Engineering License and for reimbursement of reasonable and ordinary business expenses, with appropriate documentation and in accordance with the Commission’s current policies...

But hang on -- here comes the real kicker:

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that if the Commission terminates Mr. Warner’s employment prior to July 31, 2010, for other than malfeasance, then Mr. Warner will receive a severance package that includes six (6) months base salary, at the rate in effect on termination, and payment of medical and dental insurance premiums for six (6) months if he wishes to continue such coverage under the Commission’s plans and policies...
Now, if we were a gambler, we would not bet a nickel on Warner's still being the head of the PDC two years from now. The PDC board is about to be remade in its entirety by Mayor-elect Sam the Tram, and the transformation will be complete during that period of time. Indeed, today we read that the current lame duck mayor has already handed over to the Tramster two of the five seats on the board, which are about to become vacant next month. (I believe it's Mark Rosenbaum and Sal Kadri who will be leaving at that time. Too bad -- those were our two favorites.) The Adams appointees will clearly be in control by next summer (2009).

Since the board controls the executive director's position, and the board is about to start turning over -- back to the developer interests that Sam the Tram and his mentor Vera answer to, no doubt -- we'd say there's a better-than-even chance that Warner will be getting his walking papers sometime in the next two years.

At least he'll get six months' pay and benefits along with his pink slip. Not to mention what appears to be something like a couple of months of accrued vacation.

Comments (3)

Attending in the proceedings of a delegitimized lame-duck Commission is malfeasance of duty, and perhaps insubordination, prima facie.

Stick it on the corkboard, he's run.

To think that the Board would 'reward' such lousy behavior. Quick...let's get this approved before there is a change in Board leadership!

The absurdity of it all.

I hate to shock any of you but each member of City Council has the right to give 6 months pay and benefits to any person leaving public employ. All without public notice or a vote of the Council. It's done quite often for leaving Bureau Managers and Directors. At least in my experience. At least this done via a public vote.

Greg C

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