Writer adds to talk about city management

To the Editor:

A big thank you goes to Geoff Michael for his letter to the editor in the July 21 Laker. He’s right you know. Disbanding the Mound PD Departments is nothing more than an attempt by the city manager and her cronies to safeguard their outrageous salaries and to try and hide how badly the city is being financially mismanaged. The city manager is in panic mode trying to shove this merger with Orono through as fast as humanly possible without any input from the taxpayers because it would be too challenging to inform the citizens of Mound. Many of the residents of Mound are upset with the tactics of both the city council and city management. When a city manager gathers her employees to inform them they are to sign a binding document, which would prevent them from talking about her to the public (this occurred YEARS ago), we can only imagine the kind of behavior she needs to shroud.

Most recently, employees have again been overtly conscripted into her cloak of secrecy via the script they were instructed to familiarize themselves with in order to control information that we all have the right to know but are never given. Of course, given the salaries of the department heads around her (extravagant), she has successfully insulated herself from exposure. After all, times are tough – who would want to lose their job today? Unfortunately, the cost of this to the taxpayers is becoming increasingly difficult to hide, so she must exercise these controlling measures.

Get this: one department head is a department of one, but is paid department head salary of more than $95,000, not including benefits. FOR A DEPARTMENT OF ONE! Could we save a little money by leaving this person with their actual job and title, but reduce the pay below what other department heads receive for supervising groups of people?

Oh…here’s another one for you. Guess what the manager of the Municipal Liquor Store brings in? $82,500 a year. Hmmm…makes you wonder what he does to command such a salary.

Included in the information sheets city employees are instructed to limit themselves to is this: "….our police chief and lieutenant positions are currently vacant…" Yes, it’s true the lieutenant’s position was vacated May 12, 2012, but the interim police chief is seen alive and reportedly well working at the PD and at public events. The city manager’s remark about the Police Chief position being open will surely be spun at least a couple of other ways, just please know we’re paying a Police Chief’s salary.

In all fairness to the city management, we must remember they are governed by a mayor and city council who are either aware of the conditions mentioned here (as well as many more that will be forthcoming) or either subscribe to this agenda or are unaware of it.

Either way, there appears to be a problem. Moundites, please call your council members and demand answers as to the real reason the city manager is trying to disband the Mound Police Department. Kelly Gillespie and Heidi Gesch are a good place to start.

Nick Stoiaken