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Author Topic: Fight for Knowledge and Understanding of Royal Oak Pension and Benefit System  (Read 137486 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,

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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.

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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,

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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!

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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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RORooster

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Does anyone know if all power is lost in the city center for a prolonged period of time will all city services, public safety, and court facilities be moved to 5th Avenue Bar and Grille?

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RORooster

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Office of the City Attorney211 South Williams Street Royal Oak, MI 48067 Interim City Manager  July 24, 2019The Honorable Mayor Fournier and members of the City Commission:On May 31, 2019, then-City Manager Don Johnson provided the City Commission with e-mail notice of his  intent  to  retire  effective  on June  30,  2019.    After  Mr.  Johnson  provided  notice,  the  Commission directed  me  to  meet  with  him  and  determine  if  an  agreement  could  be  reached  for  him  to  serve  as  Interim City Manager while the Commission was in the process of choosing his successor.I  have  since had several  discussions   with  Mr.  Johnson  about  returning  to  work  for  the  City.    Based upon  those  discussions,  attached is  a  proposed Agreement  for  Services  as  Interim  City  Manager  for consideration  by  the  Commission.    The  terms  of  the  proposed  Agreement  can  be  summarized  as  follows:• Service as Interim City Manager until December 31, 2019, subject to termination by either party• Compensation of $18,000 per month• City  Commission  may  terminate  for  any  reason,  including  convenience.    If  termination  is  for  criminal conduct or moral turpitude, Johnson is not entitled to any severance pay; if termination is for any other reason, Johnson is to receive one month’s severance pay• Johnson may resign on 30 days written notice to City Commission • After expiration or termination of the Agreement, witness fees of $200 per hour• City to purchase from Johnson five framed Paul Adams prints with historical Royal Oak imagesfor $1,000At  the  Commission’s  request,  also  attached  is  Mr.  Johnson’s  prior February  15,  2010  Employment Agreement  and  a  summary  of  amendments  resulting  from  changes  to  the  Administrative  Rules  for  Executive  Department  Heads,  which  were  incorporated  by  reference  in  that  Agreement.    Other amendments that are not listed (wage adjustments, contribution to health care premiums) resulted from further changes to the Administrative Rules that were also approved by the Commission.If the City Commission would like to retain Mr. Johnson’s services as Interim City Manager pursuant to the proposed Agreement, the following resolution is recommended for approval:Be  it  resolved, that  the  City Commission  approves  the  proposed  Agreement  for  Services as Interim City Manager with Donald E. Johnson.Be  it  further  resolved,  that  the  Mayor  and  City  Clerk  are  authorized  to  execute  the  Agreement on behalf of the City.Respectfully submitted,David W. GillamCity Attorney
1 AGREEMENT FOR SERVICES AS INTERIM CITY MANAGER This Agreement is entered into this ____ day of July, 2019 by and between the CITY OF ROYAL OAK, a Michigan Municipal Corporation with offices at 211 Williams Street, Royal Oak, Michigan 48067 (the “City”) and DONALD E. JOHNSON, an individual whose current residence is 3051 Winifred, Wayne, Michigan 48184 (“Johnson”). Whereas, Johnson was employed by the City as its Finance Director from November 29, 2005 to February 16, 2009; and Whereas, Johnson was employed by the City as its Interim City Manager from February 16, 2009 to July 20, 2009; and Whereas, Johnson was employed by the City as its City Manager from July 20, 2009 to his retirement from the City on June 30, 2019; and Whereas, the City has begun the search for a new City Manager; and Whereas, in  the  interest  of  making  an  orderly  transition,  the  City  wishes  to  retain Johnson to serve as Interim City Manager during the search for a new City Manager under the terms and conditions contained in this Agreement; and Whereas, Johnson wishes to provide these services to the City under the terms and conditions contained in this Agreement;  Therefore, in consideration for the mutual promises contained in this Agreement, the sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, the City and Johnson agree as follows: 1.Duties  and  Authority.  The City agrees to retain Johnson as its Interim City Manager effective as of the date of this Agreement, to perform the functions and duties of City Manager set forth in the Charter of the City of Royal Oak, as amended, and all other
2 legal  and  permissible  and  proper  duties  and  functions,  subject  to  the  general supervision  and  pursuant  to  the  order,  advice  and  direction  of  the  Royal  Oak  City Commission.  Once a new City Manager is in place, Johnson shall relinquish the title and authority of Interim City Manager and shall function only as an advisor to the City.   2.Term.  This Agreement shall remain in full force end effect until December 31, 2019, unless terminated earlier by either the City or Johnson as provided in Section 7.  It is expressly understood by the parties that Johnson is retained by the City on an at-will basis; this Agreement may be terminated by the City pursuant to Section 7(A) for any reason, including convenience. 3.Compensation.  During the term of this Agreement, the City shall pay Johnson the sum of  eighteen  thousand  dollars  ($18,000.00)  per  month,  payable  on  the  first  of  every month.  Any partial month of service shall be pro-rated on a daily basis. 4.Independent Contractor.  Johnson shall be considered an independent contractor.  The City will not provide any fringe benefits, other than those which Johnson is already entitled to as a retiree.  The City will not provide any withholding of payroll or social security taxes; payment of any required taxes will be solely Johnson’s responsibility. 5.General  Business  Expenses.    The  City  recognizes  that  Johnson  may  incur  certain expenses  of  a  non-personal,  community,  or  job-affiliated  nature,  and  agrees  to reimburse  Johnson  or  pay  those  expenses  for  him.    This  shall  include  mileage reimbursement to Johnson for the use of his personal vehicle for City business, at the rate utilized by the City as of the date that the vehicle is used.  The Finance Director is hereby authorized to disburse such monies upon production of appropriate receipts,
3 statements, or affidavits.  Johnson shall not be reimbursed for daily travel to and from his home to the City. 6.Conflict  of  Interest;  No  Offset  for  Other  Income.  During the term of this Agreement, Johnson may accept other teaching, consulting, or business opportunities, provided that those opportunities will not constitute a conflict of interest with his obligations under this Agreement.  The compensation provided for under this Agreement shall not be offset by any income Johnson may earn from any other source.  7.Termination; Severance.  For purposes of this Agreement, termination shall occur when wither of the following take place: A. A majority of the City Commission votes at a properly noticed public meeting to terminate  Johnson’s  services.    If  the  City  terminates  Johnson’s  services  for  any reason other than criminal conduct or moral turpitude, he shall be entitled to one (1) month’s severance pay.  If the City terminates Johnson’s services for criminal conduct or moral turpitude, he shall not be entitled to any severance pay. B.Johnson submits a written letter of resignation to the City Commission.  If Johnson wishes to terminate his services in this manner, he shall provide a minimum of thirty (30)  days  written  notice.    If  Johnson  resigns,  he  shall  not  be  entitled  to  any severance pay. 8.Return of City Property.  Upon termination of this Agreement, Johnson shall gather up and return all City property in his possession or under his control, including but not limited to any keys, computer or other office equipment, cell phone, credit card, and the originals and copies of all paper or electronic files, records, or other documents.  This
4 does not preclude Johnson from retaining copies of any document he produced or that was produced under his direction.  9.Legal  Defense.  In the event Johnson is made a party to any legal or administrative proceeding as a result of his employment and/or authority as City Manager or Interim City  Manager,  or  because  of  decisions  made  that  were  within  the  scope  of  his employment and/or authority as City Manager or Interim City Manager, the City will provide a legal defense on his behalf.  It is understood that the City is not obligated to provide such defense for any matters outside the scope of his employment or authority, whether they be intentional, negligent or criminal.10.Testimony.  If there are any legal or administrative issues, allegations, or hearings that require his participation because of his employment as City Manager or Interim City Manager, Johnson agrees to cooperate and provide information and testimony to the extent deemed necessary by the City.  If this occurs during the term of this Agreement, Johnson shall not be entitled to any additional compensation.  If it occurs after this Agreement has been terminated, the City agrees to pay for these consulting services at the rate of two hundred dollars ($200.00) per hour, portal to portal, plus expenses.  The minimum billing for such services shall be four (4) hours.  Any such payments shall also be  for  work  as  an  independent  contractor  and  Johnson  shall  be  fully  and  solely responsible for any and all payroll and social security taxes. 11.Artwork.  For the sum of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), the City shall purchase from Johnson the five (5) framed limited-edition Paul Adams prints that previously hung in his office at City Hall, which depict historical scenes in Royal Oak.
5 12.Entire Agreement.  This Agreement shall constitute the entire agreement between the parties,  and  supersede  all  other  agreements,  whether  oral,  written,  or  implied, regarding the subject matter hereof. 13.Amendment.   This  Agreement  can  be  modified  or  amended  only  in  a  subsequent written document signed by both the City and Johnson. 14.Waiver  of  Breach.  A waiver of any breach of this Agreement shall not constitute a waiver of any future breach. 15.Binding  Effect.  This Agreement shall be binding upon the City and Johnson, as well as their heirs, assigns, executors, personal representatives and successors in interest. 16.Severability.    If  any  provision  of  this  agreement  is  found  to  be  invalid,  all  other provisions shall remain in full force and effect. 17.Counterparts.  This Agreement may be executed in one or more counterparts, and the signature pages may be transmitted by facsimile, each of which shall be deemed an original and all of which together shall be considered one and the same Agreement. 18.Arbitration.  Any dispute arising out of or relating to this Agreement shall be settled by final and binding arbitration to be held in Oakland County, Michigan under the rules of the American Arbitration Association.  The City and Johnson understand that they are voluntarily waiving the right to trial by jury. 19.Voluntary Agreement.  Johnson has entered into this agreement freely and voluntarily, after having been advised to seek advice of legal counsel and having had adequate opportunity to do so. (signatures appear on following page)

Anybody remember where we keep the Preparation H???

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RORooster

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Once again, the Johnsonian commission will continue to work in the darkness using methods used and taught by their mentor. For years I’ve argued against the methods used by the sitting commission to push agendas marked and instituted by the use of the “Special Meeting.” This was used quite successfully when pushing approval of city bargaining unit contracts. One only need to go back and see the use of special meetings announced on a Friday marked for approval the following Monday when a special meeting had to be used and approval was always successful. Remember, Mr. Johnson always quipped that he would never bring a contract to the commission unless it had been already approved by the bargaining unit. He could always count on just a small, counted on one hand, number of residents that had not read or understood the contract and more members of the B.U. and Mr. Shifman, the city outside labor negotiator.

Thus, I would expect that the city contract, on the city web site, to procure the services of Mr. Johnson to serve as the Interim City Manager until December 31, 2019 subject to termination by either party with a compensation of $18,000.00 per month is a done deal. There is not a doubt in my mind that this contract has already been agreed upon by Mr. Johnson and at least five (5) sitting commissioners and Monday night is a “Show and Tell” for the official approval and benefit of the residents and taxpayers. While this “Special Meeting” will start at 6:00 PM it will probably be over by 6:30 PM and that will still leave enough time to make it to 5th Ave for a few chuckles. It bothers me that all city bargaining unit contracts up for approval have always been held in council chambers but this very important and costly decision will be in 315. Gee, they can’t tape in 315, can they? What a waste to not have this on tape, especially for residents who cannot make an early meeting and so many being away for vacation. How much planning went into this decision? It still cracks me up to see just how stupid they think the residents and taxpayers are! Come on, get real, video this public meeting!

While it is touching to see the only materials required for this meeting are: a. Proposed contract, and B.) Prior contract with Donald E Johnson, will provide all the materials that the commissioners and residents need to follow and understand this decision.  To fully understand this decision, I feel that more detail is required, namely:

1.   Retirement Form 2 CITY OF ROYAL OAK RETIREMENT SYSTEM APPLICATION FOR REGULAR SERVICE RETIREMENT (FORM MODIFIED 02/16/2018)

2.   City of Royal Oak Retirement System Pension Worksheet prepared by Royal Oak Human Resources for Gabriel Roeder Smith & Company. While I don’t think it's been presented to the City Retirement Board, probably by design, this information would be the latest and final compensation to Mr. Johnson and would be an absolute requirement for the commission to fully understand city costs to Mr. Johnson. The article (B) referred to as prior contract is dated and would mislead the decision-makers. This document would only attest to Mr. Johnson's character by his default of contract by not taking residence in Royal Oak as he stated he would.

3.   Costs paid by the city for Mr. Johnson's healthcare.

4.   City of Royal Oak Retirement System presenting actuarial projected costs for Mr. Johnsons pension costs from Gabriel Roeder Smith & Company

5.   This proposal presents only one option. A presentation of what where all the viable options presented to the city commission. This should present options, costs of each option, pro’s and con’s of each option and how the final option is the option presented.

6.   Update by Commissioners Douglas, Gibbs, and Macey on progress on the selection process.

7.   How much will this process cost and what is the funding source?   

A plan designated to show and ensure that the transition can be a doable goal and achieved in the timeframe allowed. If there is a time overrun Mr. Johnson might demand $36,000.00 per month! This should also be presented at this meeting. Any of the following data should be available to the commission and public. If not, the decision should be pushed back to a time when this data would be available.

The public should carefully and fully study this decision and how it is made. This should be a guide and reference for how you vote in the next two elections.

Regards,

Rooster 
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The Capitalist

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$18,000 a month is a royal fleecing. What an absolute shame on this city if we don't have department heads diligent enough to weather the loss of a city manager and keep things running smoothly for a few months while a replacement is found.
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Imissmyhometown

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Any insider information or thoughts on:

1) Legal representation for both while an interim city manager and city manager? If the agreement isn't accepted is the city liable to represent him on matters prior to his retirement? If not, this portion of the agreement could pale in comparison to the $18,000/month.
2) Is it customary to give a one month  severance if the agreement is ended prior to the end of his independent contractor agreement? (Not standard procedure in the automotive industry)

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Too often noble goals serve as a Trojan Horse for political control.

RORooster

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Cap and Imiss, I really wish I could be as brief as both of you. I will try to keep the reply as short.
I would still like to see the CM request for retirement and see if it's been forwarded to the retirement board. This is Retirement Form 2.
Is this just accepted by the CITCOM or after the Retirement Board accepts it. Why given the date submitted, wasn't this presented at the
last board meeting? Will it be presented at the next meeting. I don't understand the games being played, and believe me there are games being played. 

This meeting must be taped!

It is interesting to note when City Finance Director Evo was fired he received a pretty fair pension. I don't know about Healthcare.  When Mr. Johnson Johnson
was hired as the Dir. of Finance he had not held a city function in finance for a period of sixteen (16) years when he held this position in The City of Birmingham for
a period of 5 years 7 months. He held the position of City Finance Director in Royal Oak for four (4) years and then assumed the City Manager position for
$130,000/year Aug. 2005. To my knowledge, he was the preferred applicant over another candidate due to his financial knowledge of Royal Oak, his knowledge of the city
retirement system, and was already on the city healthcare plan (Viewed as cost savings), and by his suggestion, had placed in the employment contract he would
reside in Royal Oak. I have no knowledge of any transition costs when he was hired nor when he became the city manager.

Tonight he is requesting a personal contract of $18,000/month to assist Royal Oak over a transition period of six (6) months, depending on the last day of employment.
During this period of transition, the City of Royal Oak employes a Director of Finance who has 10 years of experience. The finance director develops and implements
the city budget. The finance director also is accountable and responsible for the city pension and healthcare system. One can only surmise, that if we still require the
assistance of Mr. Johnson with these two most important functions, the commission must decide, whether the present finance director has the abilities and capabilities to hold
and perform the duties of this position.

Mr. Johnson, under his KEIP program, allows employees who are retired to be retained and allowed to "Double Dip" the system. Presently, the two employees covered and participate
in this program are the Assistant City Manager/ Police Chief and the City Attorney. Yes, the same City Attorney who put the contract together and before the city commission tonight. If
these two individuals cannot perform their duties (See contracts on the website under H.R. department) do the taxpayers need to maintain this cost.

So little time and so much for the city residents and taxpayers to learn. At least you must understand why this meeting should be codified and preserved on tape. You'll be glad you did!!!
His costs to the city in retirement and health care up to date. See post  July 26 item # 2.

Goodnight!

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RORooster

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Will this Farris wheel ever stop?

Forum,

For over a month the city fathers, and mothers, have been struggling with the rather abrupt departure of City Manager Johnson. The CM departed the city giving a 30-day notice and a proposal that for the low cost of $18,000/month, for some undetermined time frame (5 to 6 months), would steer the city through the deep and dark waters of transition. Assuming that the only living human being, who could possibly achieve this goal and this being the only option available to the CITCOM, the option was put before the full commission.

This austere body reeling from the shock and cost of Mr. Johns proposal, but only considering this option, brought this proposal to the taxpayers in a specially called open meeting. At this meeting during public comment, the CITCOM was exposed to the extreme displeasure of twelve taxpayers verbally expressing displeasure at Mr. Johnsons “Demands.” Cries of ransom, hostages, unprofessionalism, bad faith, theft of city property, fell on the ears of the city commission. However, with the minds of five commissioners totally made up, the comments and concerns fell on deaf ears, as is the mindset of this body.

With logic and cost accounting of “middle Schoolers” led by Commissioner Marcy, the distorted historical knowledge of Commissioner Paruch, the financial wisdom of Mayor Fournier, Commissioner Douglas just attending to suck the life and breath out of the room, and of course Commissioner DuBuc injecting the wisdom that this all just boils down to petty change. The consensus from this mentally challenged group was to counter offer Mr. Johnson $14,000/month. Any ideas about the pending election?

While I cannot compete with the depth and breadth of Commissioner Paruch’s historical knowledge, I do disagree with the historical events that she purports to have had some sever and long-lasting impacts on the City of Royal Oak. To my historical thinking, the demise of City Finance Dir. Evo over political and financial reasons left an opening for the then City of Birmingham’s Financial Dir. Donald Johnson to apply for and accept an offer from the City of Royal Oak. This event caused a deep sigh of relief in Birmingham. This offer from Royal Oak was ill-advised and a total mistake on the part of the city. Mr. Johnson’s 18 years of the private sector and five years in Birmingham did not make a fit for Royal Oak.

In tandem with this event, the city went on a hunt for a new City Manager. The search ended with the selection of Mr. Hoover who was in the Twilight of his career and in poor health. Mr. Hoover was greeted by Mr. Johnson with a $6.4 million-dollar shortfall and a legacy system in free fall. The city was also into a PA 312 binding arbitration with the city police bargaining unit Mr. Johnsons advice to the city manager and taxpayers was a millage. The millage was defeated 2-1. Mr. Johnson found the funds to cover the shortfall a month after the vote which infuriated the police bargaining unit, a lawsuit, and ultimately the state-appointed arbitrator awarded the bargaining unit a favorable decision. The city is still paying for this action.
 
With the advent of failing health, City Manager Hoover requested retirement. The city decided on a selection process. After various interviews and discussions, the City Finance Dir. through his hat into the ring.  Asking a lower salary, in-depth historical knowledge, served as interim city manager during Mr. Hoover's health problems, and of course, the offer to move from his place of residence to Royal Oak made him the perfect candidate. The city offered and Mr. Johnson accepted the City Manager position. This was the city’s second big mistake with Mr. Johnson who performed at a very low level of responsibility and accountability. This was primarily due to his inability to function at the City Management level. Some of his shortcomings were:

1.   Lack of leadership qualities and the ability to develop and retain employees
2.   Average to low level of public financial problem solutions
3.   Inability to direct and develop a strong strategic plan for the city
4.   Given a weak mayor/commission, provided vague and wandering direction
5.   Weak leadership ability in areas of city legacy costs and inability to work with management
6.   Lack of department succession plans
7.   Costly implementation of plans like KEIP implementation of the city Police chief and City Attorney
8.   Confined to corner office which impeded transparency and taxpayer confidence.

These are just a few of the reasons why the city made major mistakes with Mr. Johnson.

One of the biggest conundrums of this whole process is the almost total ineptness of the city to have a succession plan for even the highest executive-level position. The process, so far, indicates a complete lack of control, procedures, and understanding to make the simplest of decisions.

Looking back on the minutes of the start of the 48th City Commission December 7, 2015, the oath of office being given to DuBuc, Fournier, Paruch, and Mayor Ellison one of the first pieces of business was the Reestablishment of Assistant City Manager. This position was requested by City Manager Johnson and based on the implementation of his then-new Key Employee Incentive Plan (KEIP). This plan, in essence, retains retirees who are designated as so important to the operation of the city their loss would be most detrimental to the city operations, especially Public Safety. Thus a resolution from the CM, moved by Commissioner DuBuc, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Fournier that the commission “recognizes the exceptional leadership ability of Chief of Police Corrigan O’Donohue; and whereas, the City Commission also recognizes the leadership crisis that will occur if all three of our top command officers retire at the same time; and Whereas, the City of Royal Oak needs an assistant city manager;  Now, therefore, be it resolved, the city managers recommendation to re-establish the assistant city manager position is approved.” Please note that indicated in the resolution that it might be a possible scenario where the three top command officers The Chief, and two Deputy Police Chiefs could retire at the same time would be a crisis for the city. Within a month of approving this resolution, the two deputy chiefs retired from the city. Sort of eerie how the city could predict and create this scenario. Both of these deputy chiefs had over 50 years of Royal Oak police experience. Obviously, neither of the two could replace” The Chief.” One accepted, Gordon Young, a Police Chief appointment in River Falls, Wisconsin who could afford a $100,000 Chief as the city of Royal Oak would pick up health care costs that nobody in the Wisconsin city ever contemplated.  Please keep in mind this is Dec. 7th, 2015 and almost 4 years have passed.

So, what is the city looking at now? Back in Dec. 2015 the city lost two deputies who had to be replaced and by contract in 30 days. From this level, two promotions were created on each level of command down to requiring two new hires for the department. I’m sure that even Commissioner Dubuc couldn’t call this “Chump Change” if he had the intelligence to figure out the real cost. For the Assistant City Manager/Police Chief costs are:

Per the KEIP plan $120.000/ year (for five years not including increases)

                                    45,000/ year for health care from retirement not including increased costs

                                    90,729/year Estimated annual pension before annuity withdrawal

Total cost/year      $255,729/year for Asst. City Manager/ Police Chief

The city is now coming up on the end of the fourth year of this “Plan.” The two promoted Deputy Chief’s now have almost 4 years of experience but still require the almost full-time direction of the Assistant City Manager/Police Chief. Are they just slow learners or is the chief just a poor trainer? Where were responsibility and accountability? Is the Chief working toward an MS in Public Administration or a Ph.D.? Folks something doesn’t add up.

Now, Monday night the city commission will consider a resolution from the Acting City Manager and Chief of Police, to vote to approve a resolution to appoint the City Attorney to be appointed as the Interim City Manager to facilitate the replacement of the City Manager who requested $18,000/month to provide transition services and was counter-offered $14,000/month and from all indications said “Go pound sand!” Whew, this hurts my head.

Now the City Attorney will reflect the following costs per Mr. Johnsons KEIP plan:

Per the KEIP plan: $142,500/ year (At contract signing i.e. July 1, 2017 salary increase not included)
 
                                     45,000/year health care retained retiree healthcare

                                     60,998/year retirement

                                       9,000/ approx. 6 months

Total cost/year      $ 248,498/year for City Attorney/ Interim City Manager.

Total for both         $ 504,227/year

Anybody know who’s running this “Nut House?”

Regards,

Rooster



 

       
 
 

           
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