Taxpayers were given a tough pill to swallow after the termination of former Police Chief Steven Henry after being with the city just four and a half months.
You and I will pay him around an additional 72,500 dollars, half of his annual salary in a lump sum payment as part of his employment agreement.
I trust the city's efforts and especially securing outside counsel to investigate the allegations against the chief. It's the sizable payday parachute that gives me heartburn. I was glad to hear Midland Mayor Jerry Morales was in the same boat.
Some will say this type of payment is a must to remain competitive when recruiting specialized public-sector employees, especially those in leadership roles. These agreements are reportedly rampant in cities across the US. Here at home, the 6-month severance and clauses like it are in some of the director level role employment agreement at the City of Midland. The Mayor is hoping to make a change moving forward.
His thought is to stair step the size of the severance payment, at X number of the days of service you receive X percent or to look at enacting these type payments after the first 6 months of service.
Consider This... while the payment protects the city from further losses and a legal back and forth, the severance being in effect on day one is something I will not support. If you feel the same, reach out to the Mayor and City Council to let them know.