Archive for Thursday, January 31, 2008

City manager turns down raise

January 31, 2008


In a sign of the city's fiscal woes, City Manager David Corliss today turned down a raise in his salary as part of his annual evaluation.

Mayor Sue Hack said commissioners agreed to give Corliss a raise, but the second-year city manager declined to accept it.

"I thought to assist in driving home the message to our employees about the city's fiscal situation, it would be best to respectfully decline a salary increase," Corliss said.

Both Hack and Corliss declined to reveal how large of an increase in salary was offered to Corliss, who makes $130,000 per year. But commissioners did express unanimous support for the job Corliss had done in leading the city's staff.

"We feel fortunate to have Dave Corliss as our city manager," Hack said.

Hack said that Corliss had done a good job of hiring quality staff members, and had made sure city commissioners were well informed on issues.

Keeping commissioners informed about the city's precarious financial position will be a top priority for Corliss in 2008, commissioners said. Corliss said that he'll be keeping a close eye on the city's sales tax collections and other revenue sources. He said he is concerned that the slowing economy will cause the city's 2008 revenue to come in less than projected.

"Revenues are not going to be where we want them to be this year," Corliss said. "We're already beginning to make adjustments."

Corliss said he and his staff of managers are closely reviewing purchase orders from departments. He also is looking at open city positions and deciding whether they need to be filled immediately. For example, Corliss said he has decided to not advertise for a new Parks and Recreation Director in 2008. Instead, acting director Ernie Shaw will continue in the interim role for the rest of the year.

Corliss said he has not yet ordered layoffs of existing staff members, but he's not ruling that possibility out.

"We may end up at that point," Corliss said. "We'll just have to see."

Commissioners also directed Corliss to work on ways to improve trust levels between the city and its citizens. Commissioners were heavily criticized in the latter part of 2007 for not being transparent enough when offering a package of economic development incentives to a start-up pharmaceuticals company.

Corliss said city staff would "redouble" their efforts in providing information to the public ahead of decisions by commissioners, and would stress the importance and value of public comment.

Corliss was hired in September 2006 to become the city's manager. He had served as the city's interim city manager for several months in 2006, while the city conducted a nationwide search to fill the position. He previously had served 16 years on the city's management staff, primarily as assistant city manager and director of legal services.


Centrist 10 years, 1 month ago

I agree. There are others out there making million$ and they don't ever knock back a raise. It's a nice gesture.

rumor_man 10 years, 1 month ago

Please move thebcman.

Lawrence would be better off without negative people like you.

absolutelyridiculous 10 years, 1 month ago

Thanks Dave! Great example for all of us. Reality is we're all going to have to do without to accomplish much. No whining. This is going to be hard enough.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 1 month ago

...uh...Dave,......if you don't need it can I have it?

The_Voice_of_Reason 10 years, 1 month ago

So thats why it's cold outside.... hell really did freeze over! Good job Dave, it's nice to see at least one of our leaders use their brain...

kansasredlegs 10 years, 1 month ago

More like a gesture of political survival after bending the City Commission over in public following the Open Meeting Violations and Tax Rebate shenanigans with Deciphera

LogicMan 10 years, 1 month ago

Here come the no pay raises, hiring freezes, no capital expenditures, no new/delayed project days.

I'm not looking forward to living through this yet again. :-(

Ragingbear 10 years, 1 month ago

The City manager makes $130,000 a year? That's an awful lot of money for not ever actually doing anything. Well, other than roundabouts.

BigPrune 10 years, 1 month ago

It was very nice of him not to give himself a raise. I wonder if it will be remembered in the future?

Yes, the Deciphera business. It's okay, we don't want high paying jobs in Lawrence. I'm sure they will be beating a path out of town just like Coaches Edge and Legard did when they got too big for Lawrence's bitches. Then there were potential employers like American Eagle Outfitters, Wal-mart Distribution Center, Target Distribution Center etc., etc who didn't want to deal with Lawrence's bitches.

Mark my words.

The people who complain about Lawrence not having high paying jobs are the same ones who run off high paying potential employers.

Puff_Dragon 10 years, 1 month ago

Next thing ya' know the LMH admin. will be sending his $100,000.00 per yr. pay raise back.

monkeyhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

I suddenly have a new found respect for Mr. Corliss. I would like to thank him.

But, I wonder, could he talk to the school board for us? Maybe give them a hint that what he did is valiant, while what they want to do is _. I can't quite think of the right word.

greenworld 10 years, 1 month ago

No one turns down money, so im going to say I think something funny must being going on. Imagine this, Ms Hack giving David a '"raise". LOL

toefungus 10 years, 1 month ago

Good job, Dave. Now if Hack would resign and the chamber quick taking city money, we could have a trifecta.

Soup2Nuts 10 years, 1 month ago

The last commission didn't help the city's financial situation by spending down reserves with large sums of unbudgeted funds on Walmart lawsuits and the Planning Placemakers charette charade ($250,000) waste of money. It's not just the economy Mr. Corliss.

mick 10 years, 1 month ago

He's right. City employees are grossly overpaid. $56 K for a "hearing officer" requiring a bachelors degree? Maybe in San Francisco or New York City but it's double what is needed here. This is why taxes are so high.

dipweed 10 years, 1 month ago

Maybe Mr. Corliss might want to get rid of some of his two....excuse me, three assistant managers and overflowing legal staff while other departments can't fill badly needed low-paying positions.

busymom 10 years, 1 month ago

While I'm sure that the Corliss doesn't read something as petty as these forums, good deal.

Fatty_McButterpants 10 years, 1 month ago

If Corliss is doing such a good job, how come city employees tell of what a horrible leader he is? How come he didn't tell the city commissioners that what they were doing with the pharmaceutical company wasn't legal? Afterall, he was present at the meeting AND he was the head of the city's legal services for years. Look at this gesture for what it is - Corliss is trying to suck up to commissioners and voters alike.

Godot 10 years, 1 month ago

Ohio to Cut Up to 2,700 Jobs Thursday January 31, 12:26 pm ET By Julie Carr Smyth, AP Statehouse Correspondent Governor: State to Cut Up to 2,700 Jobs, Close 2 Mental Hospitals

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The state will eliminate up to 2,700 jobs, close two mental hospitals and limit other spending in an effort to reduce a projected budget deficit, Gov. Ted Strickland announced Thursday.

Strickland also issued a series of directives to limit travel, new contracts, equipment purchases and other spending categories in the face of a predicted a budget shortfall of between $733 million and $1.9 billion by June 2009, depending on how the economy fares.

A minimum of 1,500 jobs will be lost, Strickland said, and will come from a combination of firings, early retirements and leaving open positions unfilled. The hospitals to be shuttered are in Dayton in western Ohio and Cambridge in eastern Ohio.

"I can tell you we did not arrive at this quickly or easily," Strickland said. "There have been days and nights of discussions."

Strickland said the state also plans to get $73 million from an expansion of the lottery, including some new games. The new games will involve video monitors being placed in bars around the state, and will be different from outlawed video gaming because it is "state-monitored, state-controlled and state-regulated," Strickland said.

The changes will account for the lower deficit amount, at minimum, Strickland said.

If the situation worsens, he would consider using money from the $1 billion rainy day fund, which is set aside for budget emergencies.

He said he will protect tax reforms that started in 2005, as well as the homestead tax exemption for seniors, the tuition freeze at state colleges and universities, and the expansion of children's health care that were in the budget plan that began in July.

"I believe there is benefit in having some stability within our tax structure for a period of time, and I have resisted the advice I have received from some to make changes in that tax structure," Strickland said.

jayhawklawrence 10 years, 1 month ago

Behavior such as Dave Corliss displayed should be praised. This is an example of good things happening in our community.

Thank you Dave Corliss. You don't see this type of class act very enough or often enough.

I also like the effort the commission is making to correct past mistakes.

damnocracy 10 years, 1 month ago

While I view it as acceptable for Mr. Corliss to decline a raise offered by our city commision, I find it reprehensible that his main argument (or perhaps the writer's slant) for declining the raise was, and I quote...

"I thought to assist in driving home the message to our employees about the city's fiscal situation, it would be best to respectfully decline a salary increase," Corliss said.

What the...? Does this mean that our friends and family members who are city employees are once again supposed to take it up the keyster because of mistakes of the past Rundle-bundle Socialist Commission and the current Right-Wing High Society Commission?

You know what Mr. Corliss and all you commissioners? Quit screwing the hard-working, underpaid, and over-stressed employees and start cutting out the ridiculous crap.

Before you even think about cutting back lower-level staff or taking away their raises, how about closing down the empTy bus system. The ONLY people who care about the "T" are the socialist elitists who live downtown and the 6 people per hour that use it. Lawrence is too small to have a transit system, especially when it competes with another bus system (KU's) that is much more efficient.

How about closing Eagle Bend? It's in the red all the time, and again, Lawrence is too small to support a publicly funded golf course. How about trimming out the Art budget for Art that few people admire?

Back in the Rundle-bundle days, every social agency in town had one hand out, begging for money. Boog, Rundle, and Davey filled not one hand but BOTH hands with our taxpayer money--while driving away every business that wanted to move here. Who cares that many social services--mainly those to help the homeless--fund individuals who are not Lawrence residents but who chose to move here--or were dropped off here--because of the increasing services our city provides. If you fund it, they will come, and come, and come.

Instead, the city employees, who (sorry Holroyd) get paid much less than they would doing similar work in a private-sector job, get screwed. Little to no raises, not even a cost-of-living raise? I sure they've incured increases in health-care costs that eat up any so-called raise reported last year.

I'm shocked that this commish and this city manager will put the empTy, the golf course, and bums who chose to be homeless over the employees who serve us. What a shame!

Bladerunner 10 years, 1 month ago

Wow ....Damnocracy said it all. By far....the BEST post I have ever read on here.

Jeremy Lichtenauer 10 years, 1 month ago

City workers get ready!!!

Hopefully Corliss won't eliminate the KY from the budget before the hard working city workers take it up the woohoo!

If I received $130,000 annual salary, vehiclle allowance, deferred compensation package (maximum allowed by law), free life insurance policy for me and my family, and many other perks, I'd forego a couple of percent raise also.

What about the secretaries and other city workers who support their families on peanuts?

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