Bright and early at city hall this morning, council members and city officials met to discuss and vote on the claims docket. It was voted down at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.
“I’m not going to not pay insurance bills or bond bills and put the city in default because there may be some people getting paid too much. There’s other ways to figure this problem out without slowing down process, without hurting people. I’m going to bring my other job into it: I don’t need Love’s Kitchen packed out because city workers didn’t get a check.” -City Council President Fannie Johnson
While the docket passed with a 3-2 vote, Councilman Lindemann raised many concerns with it, as he has done many times in the past.
“We already know that there are fraudulent documents within the payroll that are justifying ridiculous pay increases for certain individuals, we don’t know how many individuals. We know there are part-time employees who have worked for the city for even two years without healthcare benefits, and they’ve worked for more than thirty hours a week—violating the Affordable Care Act. We know that there are X employees who are still using very expensive city vehicles and gasing up their vehicle on the tax-payer dime almost on a weekly basis. We know these problems exist, so there’s no way you can vote on this in good faith.” -Councilman Weston Lindemann
“I have spoken to the lawyers, I have spoken to the CAO. They have assured me that as long as I’m voting in good faith, and even though there are people outside of their pay band, I can’t tell you legally, definitely, that they shouldn’t be there. If they’re doing two jobs and we’ve saved money by not hiring that other person, that’s a good thing.” -Johnson
Lindemann claims there is at least one city employee who had a document forged by H-R saying he had worked several different jobs in order to justify him paying more. He has turned the documents over to the city’s attorney, but he says he doesn’t trust them to look into the matter.
“The other council members have made their decision. I continue to vote no because I know these issues exist. Council members have publicly acknowledged these issues exist, but yet they still vote for it. Eventually the legal issues are going to catch up with everybody.” -Lindemann
Johnson claims she tried to get a vote passed for the claims docket to be split into three parts so the voiced concerns could be looked at, but that she could not get the three votes she needed.