Money for nuthin’

Fear and Loathing in Waynesboro column by Chris Graham
freepress2@ntelos.net

I’m sure the power players are going to love their city council spending tens of thousands of dollars on a search firm to lead the process for hiring a new city manager.

Oh, yeah. Because they were such big fans of the studies and reports and related kinds of things that the man they wanted out of the city-manager job initiated on his watch.

This money thing is going to be a major sticking point, but it’s out there now. Would-be mayor Tim Williams is on the record talking about it. Frank Lucente hasn’t been on the record about much lately, but his silence on this issue can be said to speak volumes.

I’m sure the power players are jumping up and down thrilled that their purge is going to cost the city upwards of $100,000 when all is said and done. I’m basing that estimate on the $60,000-plus that we’re going to have to pay Doug Walker in salary not to be our city manager for the next six months, plus the $20,000-plus in benefits that we’ll have to send his way not to be our city manager, and the expected $25,000-plus that we’re going to have to commit to this search process.

And then there’s the hard-to-pin-down cost that having assistant city manager Mike Hamp move into the interim position will have in terms of the work that won’t get done by having two people in the city manager’s office.

And then we can all anticipate that Walker is not going to be the last top-level city staffer out the door from this purge. Meaning more down time in City Hall, more time and effort expended trying to find people to fill the jobs, et cetera, et cetera.

Which is to say – mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money.

You know, I’m not sure that these guys care about the money, come to think of it. I mean, I know they’d like you to think that it’s about being fiscally conservative. They had their minions run their campaigns that way, anyway.

But they had to know what they were doing when they started our city down this path, didn’t they? I want to give them credit for being that smart.

So if the purge wasn’t about money, what was it about, exactly?


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augusta free press news

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