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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

And There's a Winner

[Correction below.]  But it's not you.  The Fire District Commissioners gave Chief Carleton his 15-year protection contract at its special meeting this afternoon.  As Chief Carleton repeatedly said, it is vital that he be protected in case a new Commissioner(s) were elected, "idealistic, selfish Commissioners" (and I quote exactly) who didn't like him and wanted to fire him without cause.  And if he is fired for cause, fired without cause, the 'severance' price will be in the $100,000 range range from $150,000 to $200,000, depending upon the year of the contract.  This would be a liability the district would have difficulty managing.  So, Point Roberts now is in the long-term relationship that the Chief so desires.  And his part?  Well, he'll buy a house here to live in and and marry his girlfriend and spend his nights or something on the Point.


This has got to be one of the worst policy decisions I've seen made in a long time.  Well, actually, there's a lot of bad policy decisions around nowadays so maybe we are only now just joining the parade.

The good news for me (and perhaps for the Fire District people) is that I'm removing them from the list of people whose doings are worth my knowing about.  I don't think they are.  Pat Grubb was in attendance for the paper, so he'll give you a neutral account.  And you can watch the actual video of the meeting here in a week, or so.

The elephant in the room: Nick Kiniski, the last Fire Chief who was, in fact, fired without cause about 4 years ago, even though the public was very much behind him.  Never knew what the Commissioners had against him.  Maybe a little severance is due to him, as well.

Two corrections here:
1.  termination of employment without cause, not with cause.
2.  $150,000-$200,000 'severance' payment, depending upon the year of the 15 year contract.

The text of the contract is now available here:  http://www.wcfd5.com/images/pdf/firechiefemploymentagreement2015.pdf

1 comment:

albaum said...

I think that WAS the neutral account. Local officials do not have unlimited discretion to pay themselves generously. See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_Bell_scandal