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Author Topic: Fight for Knowledge and Understanding of Royal Oak Pension and Benefit System  (Read 128319 times)

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RORooster

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Just one of those ho-hum historical city questions. After re-reading Mr Johnsons signed employment contract with the City of Royal to become its City Manager,

I noticed and was reminded of the fact that Mr Johnson agreed to move and reside in the City of Royal Oak as a condition of his employment. This stipulation 

was a suggestion of his. The costs and requirements were a part of the contract and are laid out in the document.  I think we all know this didn't happen!

However, looking further in his contract under the termination section, I notice he agreed to a standard 30-day notice of termination be given to the city.

After all, this is what professionals in positions like this do. Is it possible that someone would violate their contract and give less notice to the employer and

then provide an option to negotiate a contract for additional monies to provide assistance to ensure a safe transition for the new city manager.

To me, this shows deep contempt for the city and its taxpayers.

Only an idiot would propose and implement this action and only idiots would approve it! Any thoughts for the election of new commissioners?  Remember,

only a "Team" could pull this off! This next month will be very interesting and enlighting!!! I told you clues and red faces!

Regards,

Rooster







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RORooster

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I'm at a lack of knowledge regarding present Royal Oak administrative actions. I, like many of you, believe that Royal Oak is in a period of transparency and openness in the city. Hopes seem high that with a new administration head the future seems even brighter. Major questions I have are as follows:

1.   Why are city employee contracts (i.e.) City Manager, City Attorney, Police Chief, Clerk not updated when revised? Bargaining unit contracts follow this policy. See city contracts on city web site in Human Resources section.

2.   Would not a 30-day notice minimum be proper and professional for this position? When will a transition plan be available? What is the severance package being offered to Mr. Johnson?

3.    What is the date Mr. Johnson announced (filed)for his retirement? When will it go into effect?  Has the application gone to the Retirement board?
 
4.   What the policy? I believe the retirement application goes to the retirement board as a request. The request is then forwarded to H.R. to do the workup sheet. After the workup sheet is completed it is forwarded to the actuarial who provides the financials and then and then sends back to the board for approval. What is the status now? The next board meeting is scheduled for July 1st. Will the request be on this agenda or final approval?  When will the worksheet be available to the public? Should the public not have access to the cost(s) prior o acceptance and approval from the board. Will it take a FOIA request? Is the board satisfied with this action?
How will CITCOM consider a work contract for Mr. Johnson without presenting total costs to the city and public?  Will pension, healthcare, and new post-employment contract not be a total bottom line cost to the city (Taxpayers)?   Will the assistant to the City Manager take the chair July 1st?
 
Looks like some heavy “Consent Agenda” manipulation will be required!

Regards,

Rooster
 

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RORooster

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Confused, Mister Johnson is spending his final hours on the throne an I fail to see a few items. The Retirement/Health care committees are

scheduled to meet at 8 am Monday morning. Its obvious Mr. Johnson will not be at the meeting in his position as a trustee. Not having an agenda

available, who will sit in his place? Mr. Johnson's  "application for pension request" should be presented at the meeting. Since I don't have

an agenda, I don't know. As I 've pointed out many times before, state law states 3 business days are required for public notice. Will the meeting be

rescheduled due to noncompliance?

Will any of the prospective candidates for the next election attend this meeting and let others have an insight as to the City Managers pension

request? I don't think Dubac will be a wealth of information.

Looking at the costs of pension, health care, and transition costs should deserve much attention and discussion. Should be a major factor in

next election process indicating due diligence, homework, and individuals ability to grasp the severity of the present situation.

Rooster
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Cmh231

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I can't believe you just now read Johnson's contract. For someone claiming people should listen to you, you certainly are not showing you're a real go getter.
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Lauren

RORooster

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To those of you on this side of the sod or not strapped to a cot, please see info. regarding

City Manager Contract in Post #93 dated January 26, 2015.

Regards,

Rooster 
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RORooster

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“Who knows what danger lurks in the hearts of man…Only the shadow knows!” Only the most senior residents of Royal Oak who listened intently to the radio decades ago (pre-Apple for younger residents) will understand this cryptic verbiage.  Once again, the city is rolling into a fantasy world using smoke and mirrors.

Beginning this week, the city will be starting into the transition period of Mr. Johnson moving on, maybe! We start the week with a Retirement and employee health care meetings scheduled for July 2, 2019, both in the early morning. As luck would have it, as if luck has anything to do with it, the agendas were not posted for either meeting. Anybody familiar with the State of Michigan open meetings act knows posting the meeting date and times, as well as a place should be posted. The City of Royal Oak follows a procedure of putting this information in the minutes of the prior months meeting. Past procedures and the desire to be transparent with its citizens have moved Royal Oak to post in a timely fashion usually three (3) days prior to the meeting a reminder of the meeting is posted and includes the attachment of the agenda. These documents are provided on the city web site. By attaching the agenda the residents can see what topics will be discussed and determine if there is something that they would like to attend and discuss with the committee(s). Public comment is always welcome. By not posting a notice this violates the state OMA. Thus, Public notice requirements – a meeting of a public body cannot be held unless public notice is given consistent with the OMA. A public notice must contain the public body's name, telephone number, and address, and must be posted at its principal office and any other locations. Public notice requirements are specific to the type of meeting: (1) For regular meetings of a public body, there shall be posted within 10 days after the first meeting of the public body in each calendar or fiscal year a public notice stating the dates, times, and places of its regular meetings. (2) For a change in schedule of regular meetings of a public body, there shall be posted within three days after the meeting at which the change is made, a public notice stating the new dates, times, and places of its regular meetings. (3) For a rescheduled regular or a special meeting of a public body, a public notice stating the date, time, and place of the meeting shall be posted at least 18 hours before the meeting. (4) A meeting of a public body which is recessed for more than 36 hours shall be reconvened only after public notice has been posted at least 18 hours before the reconvened meeting.

Agendas and the OMA – while the OMA requires a public body to give public notice when it meets, it has no requirement that the public notice Agendas and the OMA – while the OMA requires a public body to give public notice when it meets, it has no requirement that the public notice include an agenda or a specific statement as to the purpose of a meeting. No agenda format is required by the OMAA. With the rise of citizen awareness, sunshine laws, and transparency the city has stated goals to achieve these ends.

I must point out that with information from the Retirement Committee questions over the transition period information that can be gleaned by residents and taxpayers. I have asked before and I will ask again,

1.   What was the date of Mr. Johnson's letter requesting retirement?

2.   Has Mr. Johnson's application been submitted to the board as per SOP? Given that it was not submitted at the July 1 meeting, it will be a month before the board meets again. Will it be retroactive?

3.   When will the board, given Mr. Johnson’s last day as city manager is June 30, 2019, be forwarding this request to the H.R. Dept. to develop a retirement worksheet up?

4.   When will the actuarial information be sent to the board and posted on its agenda for action?

5.   When will the worksheet and actuarial report be available to the public? Will it take a FOIA?

6.   Why suddenly a lack of transparency?

Another point of concern that I have is CITCOM discussions over the departure of Mr. Johnson and the transition period that started July 1, 2019.  It is self-evident that CITCOM is floundering for a plan to take to the public and explain the transition process. Or, maybe they don’t feel they have to. At a previous meeting when Mr. Johnson had requested retirement, a committee was formed to select employment agencies to search for a replacement city manager. Let’s hope they learned from the last election and won’t make the same mistakes. Let’s see what plan and updates they come up with.

At that same CITCOM meeting, it was “Suggested” that Mr. Johnson had approached commission members and indicated that he would/could extend his service and lend his expertise to assist in the transition period. This opened a discussion regarding time and costs. No idea where that will go. It has always been my experience that administrators and elected officials always have transition plans. One of Mr. Johnson's chief responsibilities is to have a plan to enact when retiring, firing, moving on! It is evident that this is not the case in Royal Oak. This period and resultant decisions will become a “Cluster” just as its been for the past two decades.

I feel that during the period between the last two CITCOM meeting Mr. Johnson presented his “Options” to the city fathers in a closed-door session, and based on a conversation at the last meeting, left them gagging and puking over costs involved. I could hear in $Dubac’s$ voice his infamous “Never gonna happen!” tone and almost contempt for the options. How soon we forget!
   
I really hope and suggest that the candidates for the next election do their due diligence and homework. If they are elected, they will be forced to deal with these decisions and a very unhappy citizenry. Does the city need or deserve any more of that reflected over the last two decades? Get the decisions out of Fifth Avenue and out into the “Sunshine.”

Regards,

Rooster
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RORooster

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To easy and cheap to not pass on!

 
Three surgeons are discussing who makes the best patients to operate on. The first surgeon says, "Electricians are the best, everything inside is color coded." The second surgeon says, "No, I think librarians are best, everything inside is in alphabetical order." The third surgeon shut them up when he said, "You're both wrong; politicians are the easiest to operate on: There's no guts, no heart, no balls, no brains & no spine - plus, the head and ass are interchangeable."

If I've offended...good!

Rooster
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RORooster

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I still have some deep concerns regarding city spending and reasons to reach into taxpayer pockets with faulty logic and edited historical reconstruction.
Going back to the January 14, 2019, CITCOM had listed on its agenda item # 11 “Tentative Agreement and Related Items.” As per Johnsonian procedures, this was the final item for the night an only a small hand full of sleepy residents who were totally unaware of the meaning of the item. As the discussion developed over this topic it quickly turned into a steamroller.

Who would have guessed that the item as written, “Related items”, meant the dropping of PA 152 which removed a state option to cap employee healthcare costs capped at 80 / 20% and increasing city coverage to 90 / 10%? The primary reasoning was that this cap presented a tremendous economic hardship on the employees and put extreme pressure on city present recruiting and retention of employees. I did learn years ago that labor negotiations, especially Public Safety, are largely dependent on issues termed “comparables.”  The issues revolve around employee costs in Royal Oak and the surrounding area communities.  Why this information is never presented to the public to enable them to see what Royal Oaks is up against competitively to other communities. I suspect this would drag the elected officials kicking and screaming into the world of fact, reasoning, and reality. A world they just don’t handle well. 
I would point to a few items for your consideration:

1.   After PA 312 were instituted in police ROPOA negation’s the city and bargaining units negotiated in good faith and agreed to drop healthcare for new hires. This was between the bargaining unit and the city bargaining unit lead by outside city negotiator Mr. Shifman and included Mr. Johnson and City Attorney Gilliam. Needless to say, the local newspapers reported this as “Throwing the new hires under the bus.” This also cost the city millions of dollars as the employee increases were retroactive 2 1/2 years. This decision was proceeded by a city millage failure pushed by Mr. Johnson to cover a city financial “short fall” of 6.4 million dollars. This decision haunts this city to this day and will only be solved by additional taxes required to restore new hire health care.

2.   With the State of Michigan’s capitulation to a state legal group to provide “State Re-employment” to employees. This involves the employee’s ability to retire and then reapply for employment. State reemployment is a cute term that in the past was termed “Double Dipping”. Something really looked upon as “Taboo.” If one follows This state act was picked up by local units of government and gave rise to Mr. Johnsons KEIP program to keep and retain retired employees deemed vital and allowing tremendous cost saving to the tax payors. Also, with future benefits provided by social security, this could be a “Triple dip!”
Today, Royal Oak has two senior employees who are under personal contracts. One can see the up-front costs but hidden costs such as long term actuarial and pension costs are totally non transparent to the tax payor. In the place of the Police Chief being an active Assistant City Manager/Police Chief and staying on as Police chief the city lost two of its best and well experienced Deputy Chiefs. To replace these deputies the city was required, in 30 days, to promote completely down the chain and hire two new employees. The costs for this personal contract along with the promotions will cost millions. One deputy is now a Police Chief in Wisconsin making $100.000+ and backed by Royal Oak taxpayers paying for health care costs approx. of $24,000 / month. Does anybody have any idea these costs? Don’t even ask! I’m sure Mr. Johnson had a plan to participate in this gold dig but it may have back fired. Looking to see what happens tonight.

3.   Also, to add further confusion to this pile was the verbiage used in item # 11 “Tentative Agreements” meant a butt load of employees had already agreed to extend their contracts to qualify for the 10% increase based on PA 152 repeal. As Mr. Johnson stated “I would never bring a contract to the commission if it hadn’t been tentatively approved by the bargaining units.  Folks if you call this being open and transparent government, we’re bigger fools than I thought. Please tell the Mayor and four other commissioners to rethink their considered reelection.

4.   I’m still completely at a loss at how a city can pass millages and bond out debt over a 25-year period can tell you exact costs but cannot provide Commissioners LeVasser and Gibbs with 1, 3, and 5-year costs of labor contract impacts. Should not the public, who provides the taxes, not enabled to know this information up front? The attempts to place the “wants and needs argument” on the back of the residents is gross neglect and malfeasance of office. 

Regards,
Rooster   




 

 
     


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