Council to Vote on More Econ Development Help

Council members will vote Monday on a resolution to outsource economic development services from Hopkins Solutions, LLC. Hiring an economic development director was recommended by the financial consultants’ (EPI) report released May 2009.

The Roger Hopkins who established Hopkins Solutions last year is probably none other than the past director of the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC), in which case city staff probably would feel quite comfortable working with his firm. But speaking of DCEDC, we still have a contract with that organization for economic development services. Do we need both?

Also, I’m kind of disappointed in the following: We’ve been able to hire a purchasing director, a new public works director and Rick Monas, former PW director who took the Voluntary Separation Program (VSP) last year but who has since been hired back to work at the airport — yet DeKalb is still three police officers down from pre-recession staffing levels.

10 thoughts on “Council to Vote on More Econ Development Help”

  1. Well personally speaking, Roger Hopkins did a fantastic job for DeKalb County when he was with the DCEDC. Roger and his firm would be the better choice here for DeKalb. We need as much economic growth as possible here to start seeing some positive numbers in our EAV.

  2. As for Voluntary Separation and the hiring back of Rick Monas at the airport now, it just doesn’t look right. Many taxpayers are getting extremely fed up with the buddy, buddy watch my back for me crap going on in the public sector. What was the point of getting rid of Monas and then hiring him back? What did the taxpayer gain here? This is why resentment is building against double dipping.

    What would you expect though from a city manager who was never held accountable for his part in the “Wogengate” fiasco? I wonder how the hiring of Rick Monas helps or hurts the city in the lawsuit filed by the previous FBO.

  3. Anson, I asked Mr. Biernacki about the re-hirings in an e-mail. He says the VSP program for management prohibited those employees from being hired back full-time with benefits and, indeed, Mr. Monas is listed as a part-time maintenance person.

    Does the part-time status make a difference? Do appearances count? I agree with Ivan that it looks bad.

  4. What is the city managers definition of part time? Retired now, what benefits is Monas still entitled to? Can a part time person still put in 40 plus hours? Is there a limit to the number of hours performed by a part time employee? Is there a maximum amount of hours he can work and how is his hourly pay determined?

    Was this position advertised for the general public to apply for? Would be nice to see an unemployed citizen get a chance at the job instead of jobs being dished out to buddies and retired employees receiving a healthy pension. This just doesn’t look appropiate or ethical on the city managers part.

  5. Hiring back former employees depends mostly on the rules of the pension fund covering the former worker. Assuming that Mr. Monas has a pension from the IMRF, their rules would apply. I know that one of my former employees took an early retirement under IMRF rules, and could not work for any other entity involved with the IMRF, not even as a janitor at a nearby school. This also covered consulting work with municipalities. I do not know if the same restrictions would be applicable to this particular case.

  6. I’m glad to have the information about IMRF retirement rules, though I don’t think Ivan meant to say that Mr. Monas himself is retired. The VSP was offered to employees who were not yet eligible for retirement.

  7. No you are correct Lynn. What I’m trying to ask with regards to Monas is why would you voluntarily separate with your employer and then come back part time? Will he eventually or could he come back in another capacity and full time?

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