City Council should not rehire Fred Warner as city manager

Calling all Baker City citizens:

Tuesday, Oct. 8 the City Council is planning on rehiring Fred Warner — after he retires from his city manager position — to be the new city manager. Does this make any sense? They plan on paying him $101,953/year (his current salary). The city will also pay his health, dental and vision insurance for $12,000/year, plus a life insurance policy.

The Councilors say by ‘rehiring’ him they will save the city $6,000, from the PERS payments.

How will this $6,000 help a city in dire straits financially? According to the City finance director, the general fund, which pays some employees’ salaries, collects less per year than the expenditures. This financial year the city is in the hole $93,790, next year $373,323 and 2021-2022 the amount will be $649,694. The city can NOT continue on this cycle unless they want to go bankrupt.

At the last City Council meeting there were only 4 citizens to listen to the Councilors. My husband and I were two. I suggested that once an employee retires it should be permanent, no rehiring for the same position. I stated the City should put out a proposal to hire someone else, bringing new knowledge to town. The city has been paying Mr. Warner approximately $4,000/month in benefits over his wages of $,8330/month. If the city was to “rehire” him, he should only be paid $4,330/month or $51,960/year. The city should not pay his insurance and won’t pay PERS.

Mr. Warner stated, “You probably could get someone for the position for $50,000 but they wouldn’t know anything.” Well, Mr. Warner what did you know before you started? Mr. Warner will also be receiving Social Security/Medicare, and PERS pay.

Should he be paid another $100K?

Come to the meeting on Tuesday, Oct 8. Let the councilors hear your opinion on rehiring Mr. Warner. If you can’t make it to the meeting, contact the councilors either by phone or e-mail. Remember — They work for us, the citizens of Baker City! How do they know what you are thinking if you don’t tell them!

Penny Rienks

Baker City

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