Such a dire financial situation of cash flow in full retreat did not stop Mayor Dean from unapologetically hiring Jim Fyke fresh off his stint with Governor Phil Bredesen for a vague part-time position with a payout of $60,000.
And I'm hearing that the Mayor is planning on hiring more former Bredesen big shots for indeterminate part-time positions, some of whom may enjoy some sweet Metro pensions from previous Metro employment:
- Tam Gordon (Bredesen Special Assistant) is said to be slated for the Mayor's Office "doing some stuff"
- Gerald Nicely (Bredesen Deputy) is said to be slated to work in the Mayor's Office
- Emmett Turner (Bredesen fire prevention official) is said to be slated to work in Metro Beautification
- Janie Conyers (Bredesen Administrative Chief)
What a stark contrast between these part-time hires for the increasingly top heavy Mayor's Office and the hundreds of public school custodians at the lower end of the Metro pecking order who lost their jobs in 2010 due to outsourcing. I think my tax dollars were better spent at the lower end.
And what a contrast to the desperate tone Karl Dean set in 2008 when he ordered a Metro hiring freeze and declared, "We have to manage within the resources we have available and everybody, every family in Nashville, every business in Nashville are doing the same thing."
How many struggling families or small businesses would consider loading up with career bureaucrats and Bredesen insiders to shore up their strained budgets?
UPDATE: City Paper confirms Tam Gordon hire.
UPDATE: In a release sent out earlier today [Tuesday], the Mayor's Office vaguely addresses where the money is going to come from to pay Tam Gordon:
Gordon started work with Metro this week and was hired within the existing budget for the Mayor’s Office. Dean said other recent changes in staff and fiscal management made the funds for her position available.
Does that sound accountable enough for you, taxpayers? I'm still stunned at how staff and fiscal management changes can free up money to pay for heavy-hitters from state government when the previous message was that Metro could not possibly afford to pay custodians or hire any other Metro workers. Granted, those messages did not come during election years.
UPDATE: In a press release just out Tuesday afternoon, Save My Fairgrounds looks at the probable hiring of Gerald Nicely by Mayor Dean and sees the handwriting on the wall for their cause:
Statement on the Hiring of Gerald NicelyNicely Rumored to Head the “Fairgrounds Issue” Despite Mayor’s “Time Out”
Save My Fairgrounds is surprised to learn reports of Gerald Nicely’s pending hire with the Mayor’s office .... Nicely spent nearly 40 years on the government payroll, including nearly 20 years at MDHA, whose office building now bears his name ....
Mayor Dean said he supports the Council’s decision to conduct a master planning process for the Fairgrounds and surrounding neighborhoods. Dean has repeatedly suggested he is “taking a time out” on redeveloping the Fairgrounds, but with the addition of Nicely, he appears ready to shift into over-drive by circumventing the Council and Fair Board.
UPDATE: Channel 4's Nancy Amons confirmed on Tuesday night's 10:00 broadcast that Emmett Turner is accepting one of the "high-paid, unadvertised" openings in the Dean administration.
UPDATE: Tiny Cat Pants ponders how convenient it was to find money for these particular unemployed bureaucrats:
Forget why Dean would do this. Clearly, he has his reasons and eventually the city will pay a PR team to tell them to Gail Kerr, who will tell them to us.
What I want to know is who would take these jobs?! Even if you’re a great candidate, even if you think the city needs really talented people, what kind of person would not see red-flags from this? If the city needs someone to helm, say, a “poverty initiative,” why not advertise for the job and see who’s interested? Maybe the best candidate is Tam Gordon, in which case, great! But maybe there’s someone else who’d be better. We’ll never know because these jobs weren’t posted. They’re not even defined. People became available and jobs were made up for them.