How much does one mistake cost?
The Sunnyside City Council has fired multiple city managers in the last four years. The latest city manager they picked was fired after only 11 months on the job.
The majority of Council members who brought him to Sunnyside will say they made a mistake in hiring him. So how much does this one mistake cost us, the taxpayers?
This is not a complete list, but some of the costs I have come up with are listed in approximate amounts: severance pay for former City Manager Bob Stockwell - $80,000; moving expenses and Spanish classes for former City Manager Eric Swansen - $12,000; severance pay for former City Manager Eric Swansen - $60,000; extra two months pay for former City Manager Eric Swansen due to Council's improper handling of termination - $20,000; cost of hiring a new finance director to replace the one that quit in protest - $20,000; extra cost for obtaining an interim finance director - $50,000; extra cost for obtaining interim legal services due to city attorney quitting in protest - $100,000.
I have not even attempted to calculate the costs of benefits for Bob Stockwell or Eric Swansen, but have approximated their base pay only. Even still, we are looking at a bill of at least $342,000
We cannot calculate the cost of increased risk to our citizens by cuts to the police force. Nor can we calculate the cost to our city's reputation when recruiting a new city manager.
They, the Council, make the mistakes, and we end up paying the bill. We deserve better government.
/s/ Jason R. Raines, Sunnyside