Wednesday, August 01, 2007

What Hiring Freeze?

Remember that hiring freeze Mayor Bart Peterson (D) promised, along with millions of dollars in cuts as part of his plan to hike the county option income tax by 65%? It's beginning to look like one of those "do as I say and not as I do" kind of things. This week the Mayor announces the appointment of two new neighborhood liaisons and a new supervisor for his Mayor's Action Center. Marion Co. GOP Chairman Tom John is taking Mayor Peterson to task. “When Mayor Peterson declared he was freezing hiring, the last thing I thought we would see was an announcement of more staff hiring less than two weeks later,” said John. “In case the Mayor forgot, this city is in a fiscal crisis. He should be working to solve the pressing issues of crime and taxes, not adding new public relations staff.”

Basically these new positions amount to public relations between the mayor and various constituent groups--a nice way of saying they are political hacks charged with helping him win re-election at your expense. “These are non-essential, public relations positions designed to try to convince us that the mayor has done a good job when he clearly hasn’t. Mayor Peterson could have put more cops on the streets; instead, he’s more worried about his plummeting approval rating,” John said.

When Mayor Peterson announced his hiring freeze on July 21, he said it applied to all non-public safety positions. So what gives? John makes a good point. “If the Mayor needs more staff to improve his image, he should put them on his campaign payroll,” he stated. “Bart Peterson has $3 million in his campaign war chest. Why on earth does he have to pad the government payroll with public relations staff and image makers? No wonder we have a tax crisis in this county.”

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gary, I'm someone who believes "freeze" truly means "freeze." These folks shouldn't have been hired.

But I'm aware that multiple neighborhood organizations all over the county, rely on the Neighborhood liaisons for many functions and vital information. I know three or four pretty well, and they work hard. I'm talking day-in, day-out five days a week, with multiple evening meetings and
interaction with all kinds of city agencies.

I much prefer my tax dollars go to these bureaucrats than more township trustee hacks.

I do not know the politics of any of these liaisons.

Their primary purpose is to help citizens, and neighborhood groups in particular, navigate the zoning and code mazes of government.

Wilson46201 said...

The replacement neighborhood liason people might be worth a partisan quibble but maintaining the Mayors Action Center is important. Without hiring a replacement supervisor, this important interface between the public and the bureaucracy might falter. This M.A.C. was one of Steve Goldsmiths widely touted programs which contained enough utility to continued by Peterson. Its staff needs supervision to function efficiently!

Anonymous said...

Hey dipshit: Read the press release, these aren't new hires...

"Lethig and Small both started their positions on June 18, 2007."

Advance Indiana said...

He announces July 31 someone he hired on June 18?

Anonymous said...

We have SIX deputy mayors, could someone tell me what the hell they do? This sounds like something that could easily be added to their duties, especially since they get city carS.

Can't find anywhere else to cut Bart? Let us help you since you obviously don't know what you are doing.

Anonymous said...

Wilson, the mayors action center is a joke. It always has been. No matter who the mayor is, the MAC is a JOKE.
2 things you can't get at the MAC.
you CAN'T get the Mayor
you CAN'T get action

Abolish the MAC and save the taxpayers a million a year!

Anonymous said...

The Machine never freezes patronage hires!

Anonymous said...

Memo to Advance Indiana: If you want some really good information on the Peterson Administation you might contact Robert Turner. He is the fomer Director of Public Safety. He has a box full of documents that he wants to share with the public but the local news media will not investigate his alligations and his doucments for publication. Maybe you can get with him and get some of the information out to the public. He also wants to get with all the retiring officers of the old IPD and hold a press conference before the elections to expose what Peterson did to the IPD.

Jason said...

I agree with 7:33. It's pretty rare for a particular neighborhood to go more than 2 meetings in a row without a deputy mayor or a press person from the mayor's office showing up to say everything's going to be okay. He might as well make these neighborhood liaisons deputy mayors now.

varangianguard said...

I can only find where there are three "Deputy Mayors", plus one "Assistant Chief of Staff" (for the "Chief Deputy Mayor", who must have too much on his plate to do his job adequately).

I'm more interested in finding out exactly where most of the Mayor's staff is accounted to. This is because it appears that the Mayor is approved for 16 FTE (Full Time Employee) staff (by Ordinance), yet (now) seems to have 28 listed on the website under "Mayor's Staff".

Anonymous said...

7:35, I beg to differ.

In the last year, I have called MAC, at the request of my City-County Councillor, twice. Once for unrelenting 24/7 barking dogs, another time for 7 junked cars in my neighbor's back yard.

Immediately, I got an e-mail with case number to follow (which can e done 24/7 on your own computer. Within two or three days, a city inspector was dispatched to the home of the aspiring junk dealer. He is fighting the city's interpretation of the cars in his yard, and that is in Environmental Court. Delayed multiple times by the defendant, but now firmly schedueld for a September trial.

The yapping dog was silenced in a day.

The operators I dealt with were polite, professional and helpful.

tonya beeler said...

I heard from a indygov staffer that the hiring freeze meant that no new positions could be created....

tonya beeler said...

and i completely (COMPLETELY) disagree and almost take offense to the statement that the NL's are political hacks. Ours has served us tremendously well.
I wonder Gary, where do you live?

Anonymous said...

I can't speak for the MAC supervisor, but the liaisons were hired well before the hiring freeze was announced.