Saturday, June 23, 2007

Pfiefer's Golden Parachute and Who's On First?

Reading the Red Oak Observer, several questions were asked about Pfiefer's severance pay, and whom will be named Interim City Manager. I posed the question below about HOW the committee to assist the Council in choosing the next City Manager was defined. Here's how it plays out be the judge. I'm reserving my opinion at this point (kinda-sorta) because I still want to know the criteria for choosing the committee from the persons that made those choices.

  • Pfiefer gets a six (6) month pay severance, no matter if he was terminated or resigned or in which month the termination or resignation occurred. You can request or research his annual salary. That should be a matter of public record as is for we edumacation folks. Not bad at all. I don't think your average "working stiff" like us gets that type of financial pad when the boss is contemplating termination. Nicely negotiated Pfiefer...

  • The Interim City Manager will be Todd Fuller. I don't know him. I'm assuming he has done the detail management while Pfiefer delegated those responsibilities out. Delegation is good. I hope Mr. Fuller has his old waist boots laying around so he doesn't step in the bullcrap. It's gonna' get deep and stank as the search process goes on. Hopefully this Council will allow the HR Director to do his job bringing the best possible candidates without direct "diddlin'". I've been accused of being Ben Goodwyn's lackey; but Ben, Casey and Eric MUST stay out of the process. Anything less won't pass the "smell test".

  • I know three of the five citizens that will be named to the City Manager search committee. I also understand the process that put them on the committee and it didn't include many of you. Here's my "first blush" on the issue:

    I'll say this before it gets said and will suffer the "slings and arrows" from all concerned for saying it...I don't always agree with Casey and Ben and this is one of those times. The firing of the City Manager on Tuesday was an abject example of the "rough and tumble" atmosphere currently prevailing in local politics. I support a transparent process but am uneasy about the outcome longer-term. Will we get the person of vision we desperately need to bring business to Red Oak and relieve some of the tax burden from the individual homeowner; or, will we get an extension of the current power base on the Council; operating in a vacuum because of the events on Tuesday night? Color me naive but it seems as if the "history" been already the winners. I don't have to like it, that's how it is right? "Reality check Steve"..."Duh....what did you expect? You supported these guys. " Yeah, but I'm definitely not married to any of them politically. I call it like I see it and on this one I'm a little put off. Bottom line, they should have waited, opened the process to citizens to show interest in working on the committee and built a committee that actually represented a good cross-section of our communities. Instead, this decision has continued to exacerbate the major issue of non-transparency in local political processes.

    Patronage has its place in the political process and is a longstanding benefit for those that support winning candidates and support positions held by those candidates. I'm concerned that several Council members have already given those positions to those persons that supported them through "thick and thin". One rewards exceptional work performance with bonuses, promotion, titles, and incentives. That is as it should be. I'm a little distressed that the committee positions were not opened to the public. Again, my political naivete is showing...pardon me for having my knickers in a small knot. It is NOT sour grapes on my part. My professional life is extremely hectic. I do not want to serve on the search committee nor have I been asked.

I do want Ben, Casey and Eric to be on notice that exercising patronage is not always the best policy after extolling the virtues of "transparency and fairness in the public process arena". I won't use the word hypocritical yet; but it sorta' smells that way. Again..I'm in Ben's back pocket right? What could I possibly know? What the heck am I whining about? I got everything I wanted...hmmm...I wonder! There...I wrote it! I feel better now!

Your thoughts? Am I full of excrement on this? spouse tends to think so...that's why my eyes are SO brown. :<)


Anonymous said...

Steve, maybe people might cut you some slack about the whole Ben,Casey, and Eric thing if you would stop bringing it up in every blog. And the picture of you with the rest of them doesn't help much, with all the crap that is going on. They are the ones who have come together and have left everyone else out of "their world". You have the right to be friends with anyone you choose...but did your momma not tell you that "you are known by the company you keep"? Don't keep complaining about it, if you don't try to change it.
People have probably misjudged you, but what else do they have to judge you by except for all the blogs. And you must admit a little, that they do come off as Pro Ben and his friends, especially when you go around calling Mr. Little "little toddie" . I never even heard of you until I heard someone comparing you to a want to be Joey. Then the other person responded, that you could never compare, because you couldn't just post things as they were, you had to get on there and continually praise Ben and Casey.
I know you don't like to hear "someone said", I am just telling you how I come to find your page. I know that you are not a reporter, so you don't have to be neutral. But you would probably not catch so much crap if you did remain neutral and let the rest come out and sling the mud.
You have some really good blog ideas, but I see a pattern of "Ben and Casey" between the lines.
I was wondering, how does someone contact you about local stories? Do they remain anonymous or do you have to honor that, since you are not a reporter?
As I mentioned before, I know that you don't like "i heard", but I did hear rumors that you are trying to trace these comments back to people so that Ben and them know who is saying that true? If so, doesn't that break a privacy law of some sort? Just wondering. You don't have to post this on here,unless you want, I just did not know how else to contact you. So maybe you could do a blog on how to reach me or something and answer some of the privacy issues and that kind of thing...just an idea.

Steve Miller said...

anon said..."but I did hear rumors that you are trying to trace these comments back to people so that Ben and them know who is saying that true?"

That's a crock. Enough said.

This is just my own opinion blog. I write, edit and virtually publish the stuff. I've never claimed to be neutral, didn't think I had to be since I don't write for a media source. Again, this is a Blog, not a journalistic endevour on my part.

I will take your suggestions however and will possibly post a hotmail or something similar address so people can contact me via email. I can just imagine the type of email THAT will generate

I'm not concerned with the "crap" people throw on this blog. It is the Internet, not real life. If I was totally biased, I'd moderate the comments to only those that I preferred. I obviously don't and can sling @#%t back with the best of them.

Thanks for the observations, and suggestions. Good Post! See you at the Council meeting?

anon. #1 said...

Oh yeah, you will see me there, don't know yet if I will talk to you though,"the whole known by the company you keep", but I will be there. LOL. Sorry, could not help myself. But you did not answer what I thought was an important you keep this anonymous or do you tell all? Might make a difference in what juicy secrets you get. You might be surprised who would come out of the wood work if they could tell their secrets and not be ratted out. This whole town might turn on each other for grudges from the past. Who knows who might not get certain positions in the city if the right story was told and you could actually back it up? The council members are not the only ones for sale around here. Secrets might be sold(told) just to keep someone from moving on up.
Lot's of accusations, but nothing concrete...people too afraid to have it come back to them and then what might they lose? Lot's of people losing jobs around here for not playing on the right team. Who can people trust? Is it you? Or are they too afraid of who you associate with? Somebody around here has to be totally neutral and just tell it like it really is.

Anonymous said...

Anon, if you want to write about local stories, you can always start your own blog - this is obviously an opinion based blog on RO politics. Like it or not, I think Steve is dead-on every story he writes. I think he calls it like he sees it, and unlike most people who are too afraid to do so, he voices his true opinion no matter who's feathers it ruffles. People might not want to admit it, but it might actually do this little town (no pun intended...and come to think of it, guess it's not such a "little" town anymore - thank God!) some good to get some fresh ideas flowing through the City Manager's office. Big deal if he's friends with Ben and Co? He is skewed because it's HIS blog! I for one am excited that Ben beat Todd - I mean Dawn - he's got the political experience to get things going in this town! Obviously "slack" isn't what this blog is all about, which is why I read it every single day.

Steve Miller said...

I'm an adult and won't publish what someone would send that was completely devastating to that person's reputation (ie: I did apologize for and delete the Bert and Ernie picture because it had a sick, twisted, freak-like reference to homosexuality-I did not know and learned VERY quickly), would deal with lurid stories about "who's doing whom"(I could care less about someone's diddlin' someone else UNLESS it involved children...THAT'S a different can o' worms and would be treated very seriously and referred to the authorities as abuse), or a person's sexual appetites (I won't even clarify THAT just doesn't play in Peoria for me...I AM a little-just a little old fashioned in THAT regard).

Everything/everyone else is fair game. If I think it stinks, or is wrong, I'll drone on about it. If politicos are way off base or tappin' the public trough, I'll complain and see if it sticks. I'll also back the folks I support and tell them when I think they're making big mistakes (check out my blog about the "good ole' boys)

I don't post porn nor do I post direct links to porn unlike other Blogs (no..I'm not pointing fingers at Joey Dauben's continued assault on Judge Kinze (spelling error probably). I don't have time for that crap and don't think people I "hang with" do either.

I've got comment moderation turned on through Blogger. I see every post before it goes on the Blog. Again, I've not had any comments yet that were inappropriate to the point of needing to be edited. I'm sure it will happen and I'll blog about that too, leaving out the lurid or inappropriate details.

I'm pretty cool about most things and if you've got your ducks in a row about a subject, it should not pose a problem for YOU to post. If it's of the lurid or deviant variety, you really should build your own blog. I'm really not interested and won't post that type of garbage.

Hope that clarifies things for you Anon....please feel free to post what you want, flame people within reason, and have some fun. Remember this IS the Internet and not real life...this is supposed to hit some nerves, pull no punches and tell it like one sees it.

If you're looking for "fair and balanced reporting", you can always go to the mainstream media right? (sarcasm button pressed on)

Thanks again for your post...I look forward to more!

Anonymous said...

Anon, "I think Steve is dead on every story he writes". I don't think he was too dead on when he wrote about Ken sticking to the city. He was wrong about it. Did not have the story straight, but I will admit he did apologize, he just did not correct it. Apologizing in the comments is not the same as correcting it, like the picture he retracted. People need to start making sure the story is right, before they start typing, especially if they are the ones doing the blog. Everyone has an opinion, but he blogged and even gave links, all of which made no sense, because Ken was suspended immediately.

Anonymous said...

Steve you wrote..."Again, I've not had any comments yet that were inappropriate to the point of needing to be edited." Two posts I submitted trying to pinpoint your association with Joey Dauben did not make it through comment moderation. That was a clear indication to me you do sensor what is not favorable to your reputation. You've stated your are an educator, I'm not sure where you teach, but I am very thankful my children made it through school without darkening the door to your classroom. Your comments and biased opinions are an embarrassment to educators like myself.

Steve Miller said...

Interesting post. I've not seen those posts. Are you sure you posted them on this blog?

Steve Miller said...

My biased comments?

Geez Anon...this is a personal Blog not a newspaper nor anything more than a publically accessed comment board. I built it and the comments are my own and WILL be biased just as would yours if you built and posted to your OWN Blog. Who died and made you the Blog Police anyway? :<)

If this blog is such a personal and professional issue for you, you've got every option and opportunity to not read, post or whatever on this blog. In effect, switch channels or turn it off (in a virtual fashion)

Please feel free to take advantage of this at your earliest opportunity.

Thanks for your post.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know who okayed 6 months of pay for him. Why would you pay a man for 6 months you should have said work for the next 6 months until you find a job. Did anyone he fired get paid.

Anonymous said...

"Who died and made you the Blog Police anyway? :<)" Hard to believe you can keep the sarcasm and personal opinions out of your classroom. Time to think about finding a private school, sure don't want to take a chance on my kids ending up in your class at ROHS.

Steve Miller said...

They won' certainly won't have to worry your little heart about it. :<0

Anonymous said...

Steve, you sound very confident when you say that. How can you be so sure? Or is it true that you really are tracing comments back to the people who post?

Steve Miller said...

I am. Not EVERYONE whom lives in RO and is in the education business works FOR ROISD. :Plonk

Anonymous said...

My apologies, I thought Steve Miller listed on ROHS website as a computer teacher was you...the picture sure resembles the guy I saw interviewed on tv about Dawn Little's postcard named Steve Miller. The four teenagers hanging out at my house also said they know a teacher at ROHS with the same name. It's a small world...

Steve Miller said...

Not employed at ROISD. If you look at the picture on the ROISD website, you'll see it is the character "Milton" from the movie "Office Space".

I worked there several years ago but am not currently employed there. ROISD's web site can't be that old...over two years since update? Oh well, Sarah and Alex never liked EChalk anyway. :<)

You should call the number listed and see for yourself 972-617-4350

I'm done with 20 questions.

Anonymous said...

to Anon - the reason he got 6 months pay is because that was the agreement of his severance package I'm sure. It's highly uncommon for someone in upper management NOT to have a very similar severance. He was let go with no wrongdoing found, so he was fully entitled to that severance package. I'm sure there are many companies that offer a lot more to their top managers.

Anonymous said...

No wrong doing????????
Yea he did do wrong doing!! He lied about the budget! He said many times that there was no budget short-fall. But the truth came out monday night about the budget.

The Ellis County Observer said...

Anonymous said...

Steve you wrote..."Again, I've not had any comments yet that were inappropriate to the point of needing to be edited." Two posts I submitted trying to pinpoint your association with Joey Dauben did not make it through comment moderation. That was a clear indication to me you do sensor what is not favorable to your reputation. You've stated your are an educator, I'm not sure where you teach, but I am very thankful my children made it through school without darkening the door to your classroom. Your comments and biased opinions are an embarrassment to educators like myself.

June 23, 2007 9:35 PM

I'd give anything if I had a class with this "educator."

Obviously someone doesn't know the purpose of a blog. Probably not from Texas anyway.