Cohen Dresses Down Civic Group And Local Blogger
Yesterday, a local blogger published a memo from the civic group, Annapolitans For A Better Community (ABC) indicating that the Mayor and Council were forging ahead with significant tax increases in order to balance the budget. According to the Annapolis Capital Punishment entry, the Mayor was considering raising taxes by up to 35%.
While this might politics as usual, the Mayor took the unusual step late last night to rebut the allegations made:
Unfortunately, the ABC group’s leadership recently sent out an email with some inaccuracies that are so glaring that they require correction. For instance, the email claimed that “the Mayor has been clear that a tax increase will be necessary…” and that I was among a group of alderpersons “moving rapidly toward a 25 – 35% property tax increase.” These statements are wholly inaccurate. I hope that in the future, the ABC group’s leadership will be more careful to confirm the accuracy of their information before sharing it with their group’s members.
Annapolis Mayor, Joshua J. Cohen
It is good to confirm accuracy, but in Josh’s case given his ever changing plans and dependence of the ideas of others and lack of a clear, decisive course of action it is necessary to force his hand by fabricating things thereby forcing him to at least rule out certain options. Many in the underground news network are beginning to wonder who Josh is, unlike Leopold who is forcing the entire pool of workers to reduce salaries and make concessions Josh is being irresponsible . Did the public know he pays a Public Information Officer $88K+ plus benefits to handle his press releases ? The underground news network wonders why when Josh can twitter and blog Josh can’t communicate with his own ‘pen’. Maybe Josh is paying this exorbitant salary to use Phill McGown ( his PIO) to ghost write his twitters and blogs–pretty crazy huh ? Josh made a good move by removing the Harbormaster ( $111K+) and cutting their staff, and it makes sense for him to do the same for his own department. Josh must cut salaries of the administration –they produce NO revenue.
Anyway, Josh, if your not going to raise taxes, not going to cut salaries and DO keep borrowing money, you are sooner of later effectively raising taxes somewhere along the line–their is no other way.
Aside from the mayor’s remarks, I’d like to correct some figures and assumptions made by the Annapolitans for a Better Community:
1) The average salary for the City’s 607 full-time employees is $60,380, excluding benefits.
2) In fact, $9.2 million is committed toward debt service in the mayor’s proposed FY2011 budget. (Separately, the interest on the line of credit is $40,000; that amount will be paid to Bank of America as part of the full repayment of the LOC in October.)
3) It is also worth addressing the per-capita salary figure and how it is being used. Comparing the per-capita figure against the average salary of a City employee is imprecise and misleading. One must compare both sides of the equation on a per-capita basis or by the average salary, not both.
In this particular case, any discussion of per capita is faulty, because you cannot accurately calculate a per-capita figure for the households of City employees. (For example, if a City employee earns $60,380 and is the single earner in the family, with a spouse and a child, the per capita income in that family is $20,127.) Therefore, the only way to do a valid comparison is by average salary.
So let’s do some math: According to the American Community Survey of 2006-2008, there are 14,707 households in Annapolis. Now, multiple that figure by the average household income ($98,250). Then, divide that figure by the number of people earning a salary who live in Annapolis (20,508).
The bottom line is this: The average salary of a city resident is $70,458 – or about $10,000 more than the average salary for a full-time City employee.
Here are several salary and population figures from the American Community Survey for additional context:
Other statistics from the Community Survey:
Mean Household Income (dollars) – $98,250
Median Household Income (dollars) – $72,173 (Note: HUD’s 2010 is actually much higher: $82,000)
Per Capita Income (dollars) – $42,499 (Note: This number includes total population, meaning children not in the workforce)
Total Population – 34,281
Population 16 years and over – 28,064
Population in the labor force – 20,508
Total Households – 14,707
Public Information Officer
City of Annapolis
Let’s do some math Phill my friend. You make $88+K a year plus benefits and you are attempting to muddy the waters through statistical manipulation in hopes you can outwit the People. We are talking about city employees are we not. Let us look at the real people that held existing jobs before Josh’s layoffs. What were they paid ? How many actual human beings were laid-off ( fired, axed, let go) . What percentile of the median mean average city employee income were they making and if your income was multiplied by the number of actual employees that were laid off and then divided by the sum of the whole….. ?
My point is this Phill my friend, your job is superfluous and ADDS NO VALUE to life in Annapolis. We remove you from the payrolls and we save our citizens almost 100K$ and they don;t miss you one bit.
Fred–you are entitled to your opinion (and we certainly appreciate you offering them), but happen to disagree with you. Annapolis is a medium sized City (my definition) and the value of an effective PIO cannot be overlooked.
Can you imagine what would have happened if the former Mayor did not have someone to temper her outbursts?
i have never been a fan of Bad Politics and bad policies in the government. they always present bad news.~”-
John, effective PIO ? I am not sure this particular PIO is as effective as he may think. First of all what is Public information and is the news that he chooses to make public necessarily the news we in the underground press want ? No! We like the non-public news, the reliable whisper information. And has this PIO ever held a press conference where the press has an opportunity to as the tough questions of him, to see his reactions, to see him evade and avoid certain answers ?
But I do appreciate your diplomatic response as your relationship with a PIO can allow your opportunities to get the scoop.
PS> congratulations on being #1