Surely, I thought, there must be some exaggeration going on here.
That’s what I thought when I read Gorman’s story last week where Mammoth Lakes Tourism Executive Director is quoted as saying Senior Department Heads at the Town of Mammoth Lakes receive 47 days off per year.
Urdi’s a marketing guy. I’m accustomed to a bit of hyperbole.
But he actually undersold it.
Not to pick on Mammoth’s Public Works Director Grady Dutton, but knowing how much it annoys Engineering Manager Haislip Hayes, I couldn’t help but look at Dutton’s contract.
He gets 10 days a year of administrative leave
He gets 12 federal holidays.
As a five-year employee, he accrues 20.667 additional hours per month of “comprehensive leave,” which equates to 31 days a year.
Add it all up and he gets 53 days off, not including weekends.
And yet, he doesn’t do nearly as well as this counterpart in Bishop.
A City of Bishop Public Works Director gets 17 days of administrative leave per year, 24 days of sick leave, 12 days of family sick leave, 4 days bereavement leave, 15 days a year of vacation (with five years of service) and 12 recognized federal holidays.
Potentially, that’s a whopping 84 days off per year.
Perhaps this explains the discrepancy in pay.
Dutton made about $163,000 this year, which doesn’t include an anticipated $3,000 bonus based upon the Town’s receiving Transient Occupancy Tax revenue in excess of budget. *Ah, so NOW I know why the Town is so incentivized to budget TOT revenue so artificially low …
Bishop’s Public Works Director Dave Grah makes about $118,000 a year.
Mind you, this is just what they’re paid – doesn’t factor in perks like insurance and retirement and such.
A Mammoth Lakes Tourism Board meeting was canceled Thursday. What they were going to discuss: A possible four-year contract for Executive Director Urdi. Rumored as a sweetener: A $30,000 signing bonus.
As I joked to a member of the MLT Board this week, “Only place that ever gave me a four-year deal was college, and they probably regretted it.”
Here’s the issue I have with this. Why? What’s the incentive? There is zero risk of his departure if you politely decline. Zero. He’s got a great deal and his kids love it here.
Go back to the Dutton contract. At-will employee. Calls for a whopping 15 days notice and six weeks severance. And I doubt Grady sits around worrying about his job security.
I’ve been told Urdi’s deal asks for six months severance.
Handing him a four-year contract effectively means that anyone now stepping off the Board is committing their successors to the existing Urdi/Mering Carson nexus. It’s like … dying, and then attaching a bunch of strings to the inheritance because you’re just too much of a control freak to let go.
That, or you’re staying and you like the status quo and you really don’t feel like debating the “strategy” too much. But, you know, it’s your job to have that debate. And it’s good to have that debate. And if you end up in a situation where you need to go in a different direction, why hamstring yourself with an employee who may not be suited to that new approach?
Finally, I think long-term contracts make you less hungry.
Here at The Sheet, I’ve been on a week-to-week contract with my clients and this community for 16 years. If we suck too much for too long, we deserve to die. Whatever contracts I might have be damned. I’d fire myself.
I was reminded this week of the story of Walter Alston, the greatest manager in Los Angeles Dodger history.
Alston was famous for signing 23 one-year contracts during his tenure.
He is quoted in an obituary from the Christian Science Monitor as saying, “You know, those one-year contracts never bothered me, because all they ever meant to me was that I could quit if I was dissatisfied and that the Dodgers could fire me if they were dissatisfied. But mostly I was just grateful for the chance to manage, and believe me, I would have signed for any figure.’’
And from his New York Times obit was this gem from former Dodger owner Walter O’Malley: ‘’He is non-irritating,’’ said Mr. O’Malley when asked about his manager [Alston’s] longevity in the job. ‘’Do you realize how important it is to have a manager who doesn’t irritate you?’’