Thursday, September 30, 2010

Who Really Runs Nanaimo? Council or Berry?

If You Said City Council
I want Some Of What You're Smokin'

The continuing saga with ex-city employee Jerry Berry just keeps getting better all the time, that is if you are fond of nightmares or perhaps a dark comedy.

Berry decided to leave his job two years before retirement about this time last year, this was before the results of an independent study were released looking into city staffing.

At the time Mayor Ruttan became the only spokesman on the subject for the city (apparently councilors don't have an opinion), he issued an unbelievable statement as to the circumstances surrounding the more than generous golden handshake given Berry. A statement which clearly demonstrates the utter contempt that politicians have for the average taxpayer.

It went something like this: Mr. Berry did such a fantastic job for the city and his $200,000 a year salary was in no way enough compensation for his tireless efforts that the city simply had to give him over half a million dollars so the poor fellow could take an early retirement. The equivalent of two years salaries, plus benefits so he could tide himself over until his pensions kicked in. You know, those pensions the average taxpayer would die for, but alas they are not working in the public service so they don't get to collect them, they just get to pay for them.

Now it seems, that Berry's lawyers feel he should return to the trough for another 5% raise based on raises that would have been in effect had he stayed on the job, and actually done something to earn his money.

Laugh or Cry??

This whole unbelievable story shows you what happens when the electorate (that is you and I) don't pay any attention to what elected officials and the civil service and big unions are doing when they get together to see just how much plucking the old goose will stand without even waking up.

Apparently city council under the direction of Mr. Korpan and current councillors Unger, Holdom, McNabb and Sherry decided to take the advice of Mr. Berry and the city lawyers to sign an agreement that would see city taxpayers indebted to the tune of over half a millions dollars should Mr. Berry decide to leave his job two years early.

Current city council under the advice of lawyers (the same ones who made up Berry's agreement?) decided to pay Berry the money without contesting it in court. Seems the only time they want to spend tax dollars on legal fights is trying to collect money from companies that don't have any.

This current council and our crack legal team, apparently did not see Berry coming back to the trough for another 5% ..... nothing gets past this bunch.

Awwww for the good old days, when the taxpayers would be heating up the tar pot, filling bags with feathers and paying visits to Berry and the councilors responsible for this blatant waste of taxpayers dollars.

When watching council meetings on the television years ago, I thought it was apparent that Berry was the 'sharpest knife in the drawer' and the current state of affairs really confirms that suspicion. He has gotten the best of councils for years, and it would appear the current one is no match for him either. 

I would suspect that due to the impotence of current council, future ones will be faced with the same demand from other 'long time' city employees when they decide they want to quit early. I bet a dollar to a doughnut, they will be entitled to about one month pay for every year of service, when they decide to quit their jobs also.


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