Boomer gets raise, administrator search continues

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – Dave Boomer will take on the role of Interim City Administrator after a council vote Tuesday.

Boomer, who took over the position in May upon the resignation of John Zech, brought before the council a proposal July 24 asking for $87,000 in salary, a $12,000 raise from his current salary as building official, community development and economic development director. He also asked that the council hire two part-time building inspectors and increase Human Resources Director Don Wood’s position from part to full time for an increase of $23,000.

Councilors voted 4-3 at the meeting in support of a $5,000 raise for Boomer. They also approved an $8,000 raise – from $42,000 to $50,000 for Wood and agreed to hire two part time building officials, at hourly rates of $30 and $20,who would together work no more than 29 hours a week. The money is to come from Zech’s $81,000 salary, budgeted for this fiscal year.

Boomer turned in his resignation from the interim position after the July 24 vote, but the council did not vote to accept it.

Boomer asked the council to keep the “Interim” tag on his job title so he could return to the building department in case the city is assigned an emergency financial manager, who would likely dismiss a city administrator.

Councilman Harry Sisko brought up the fact that though the raises and increased staff are costly, they would be far less so than the changes required under an emergency financial manager, who would be paid $140,000 to $160,000 a year from the city’s general fund.

He also mentioned that during recent meetings with a state Treasury financial review team, they mentioned the need for more staff to perform basic city functions.

“This is where we plant the flag,” he said, “and say ‘no further.’”

Councilman Larry Templin, who voted against the measure, said the city, facing a $6 million deficit, shouldn’t spend so much money on office positions.

“We didn’t have the money a year ago when I came on the council,” he said. “We’re willing to pay recreation and part-timers more money on an hourly rate than some of our sergeants are making.”

Councilors said they intend to keep searching for someone with traditional qualifications for the job. More than 40 applications for it were received last week. A 60-day search by Mayor William Matakas had resulted in no interested candidates – many of whom he said were afraid to take the job with the possibility of being dismissed by an emergency financial manager. His 60-day period to recommend candidates for council approval under the charter expired Tuesday.