- October 26, 2021
- Comments: 0
- Posted by: admin
Thank you for supporting our journalism. This article is available exclusively for our subscribers, who help fund our work at the Chicago Tribune.
Gary Common Council members admonished the Prince administration last week for creating a situation where an employee gets paid for holding more than one position, a move they say is a violation of city ordinance.
The council postponed to a special meeting Monday two ordinances authorizing the payments to the affected employees and preventing the city from running afoul of the State Board of Accounts during its next audit. One ordinance deals with the positions and pay of the late Eric Reaves, who served as the former executive director of community investment and interim park director, and the other with current public works director and interim park director Marianetta Barber.
Both Reaves and Barber served in their full-time capacity in their respective posts while taking on the responsibilities of interim park director when the position was vacated. The interim park director position was paid to both employees at a reduced rate and was not the full salary budgeted for the position. However, it was paid on top of the salary for each individual’s regular full-time position.
While council members lauded Barber for her work and said their complaints have nothing to do with her actions, they complained the move to compensate her and Reaves for two different jobs — despite taking on additional responsibilities and work — flies in the face of a council ordinance preventing such a move.
“We can’t keep doing this. We have an ordinance where you can’t work more than one full-time job,” Councilman Ron Brewer, D-At large, said.
Other council members agreed.
“I also think it’s dangerous for the city to manage itself this why, relying on one person to do two jobs,” Godwin said. “This has been going on for too long.”
He said he would only support Barber remaining in the interim position until a replacement is found or until April 15, whichever comes first.
“We need to see some active steps for hiring someone soon,” he said.
Barber said the parks department has advertised for the position and has received just 12 applications in about 14 months. Not all of those who applied had the necessary qualifications.
Godwin said If the salary for the position is creating a problem in finding someone qualified to take on the role, the parks department should come before the council and ask for a change.
Brewer and Councilwoman Mary Brown, D-4th, asked if there were other positions within the city of which the council was unaware where an employee was drawing two salaries.
Deputy Mayor Trent McCain confirmed after the meeting Barber and Reaves were the only two employees to which payment for different positions applied.
Carrie Napoleon is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.
Copyright © 2021, Chicago Tribune