Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Broke CIB Doles Out Pay Raises To Key Staff

There must be a requirement that any entity seeking a bailout first provide big salary increases or bonuses to key personnel before asking taxpayers for a bailout. WTHR's Mary Milz reports on such raises for the Capital Improvement Board's key personnel over the past 12 months:

According to information provided by executive director Barney Levengood, several key employees received raising totaling roughly $55,000 over the last 12 months.

Special Service Manager Jen Ross' pay increased 9.3%; sports event coordinator Andy Arnold's 9.6%;Director of Operations Tom Boyles' 14.1% and Stadium Director Mike Fox's 35.6%.

Foxes pay was $94,507 in April of 2008. It's now $128,242.

CIB Vice President Pat Early said Fox received the vast majority of that increase last June, less than three months before Lucas Oil Stadium opened. Early said Fox, hired to run the Hoosier Dome in 1984, was considering other job offers and they couldn't afford to lose him and the institutional knowledge he provided."

It was a decision we felt we needed to make at that time," Early said. "Our main fear was we'd let a guy go who'd done a fantastic job because we couldn't match his compensation and then we'd turn around and spend $50,000 to get someone brand new."

Early said Fox's pay was based on what his peers were making elsewhere."Even at that level of compensation, it was well within the range of people doing what he was doing across the country," Early said . . .

Fox's salary includes a 3% pay increase that all CIB employees (with the exception of Executive Director Barney Levengood) received January 1, 2009.

The raises came just as the severity of the CIB's financial troubles were coming to light. "Overall, it wasn't much more than the cost of living, but certainly any raises are hard to defend given where we are in the financial crisis," Early said.

But he also said, "If we start losing good people and things start spiraling down, then we really have a problem, something we won't recover from."

Early added he has no regrets about increasing Fox's pay. "I stand by it today. He's a very talented guy and he runs a great operation."

Here are some of my questions. Did the CIB offer these pay raises at this critical point as a way of retaining key personnel? Were the raises an added incentive to keep people from talking about the true financial picture of the CIB? In particular, can Mike Fox verify that it really costs an extra $20 million to operate Lucas Oil Stadium? If these key personnel are doing such a good job, why has the CIB been running deficits for the past decade?


Paul K. Ogden said...

Who approved these pay raises? Was it voted on at a meeting? How many of these screwups does it take before Mayor Ballard and Republicans and Democrats on the council start demanding accountability from the CIB?

Diana Vice said...

This guy makes more than the Attorney General! Something is wrong with this picture.

Jon said...

Perhaps that explains the 9+ million dollar increase in salaries from the 2007 budget to the 2009 budget!

Concerned Taxpayer said...

GEEZ, PEOPLE! YOU ACT LIKE IT'S YOUR MONEY....oh...wait a minute...

Citizen Kane said...

Not much different than what is going on at the city. Three percent raises were given across the board, even though anyone with any sense knows that the city is going to be in a financial crisis by next year, if not later this year. Early this year, after they provided the raises, they turned around and asked for budget cuts for 2009. Now they have brought in KPMG for a three-month audit to assess the city's core services and presumably eliminate, privatize or otherwise shutter non-core services (shouldn't the administration be able to figure that out without spreading largesse to a no-account accounting consulting firm to produce a crap report (think of the stadium report produced by an accounting consultant firm).

Furthermore, they now have spun off the Division of Compliance from the Department of Metropolitan Development purportedly to create an uber enforcement power. But mainly, it just creates another Department, with additional high-priced workers (two deputy directors have been added and a CFO has been or will be shortly). There will likely be more to come when Council actually approves it (I assume they will as no one on the council will ask why enforcement activities could not be consolidated under the existing DMD division without hiring deputy directors as an additional layer between the Administrator and the previous Assistant Administrators. Who knows what other raises have been or will be dealt out as this power play proceeds? But somehow, creating a new department will transform the Compliance Division to a lean mean fighting team. Semper fidelis indeed. So, why should the CIB be operating any differently. Isn't life just Grand? See below.

PROPOSAL NO. 177, 2009 (General Ordinance)
INTRODUCED: 05/04/2009 BY: Councillors Plowman, Nytes, B. Mahern and D. Mahern
REFERRED TO: Rules and Public Policy Committee
DIGEST: amends the Code to establish a new city department of code enforcement, to
consolidate into two sections the various fees to be collected by the new department, and to
make corresponding technical corrections