Wednesday, March 2, 2016

"Opinion: Golden Parachutes Lay A Goose Egg in Mount Pleasant"

From Racine County Eye:

By Denise Lockwood in Elections, Letter to the editor · March 2, 2016 · No comments

"On April 13, 2015 in his last meeting as Mount Pleasant Village President, Mark Gleason put forward a measure on the agenda to guarantee a six month severance package for all village department heads fired for any reason other than 'just cause.'

"This 'golden parachute' deal for department heads was a complete surprise ­ it had never been discussed or recommended by any committee prior to that day. Gleason’s timing and motivation were and remain abundantly clear.

"The Village of Mount Pleasant employs nine department heads which includes Village Administrator, Kurt Wahlen ­ who 'coincidentally' was also Mark Gleason’s police partner years prior.

"Mark Gleason hired his former partner as Village Administrator under circumstances which scandalized trustees not two years before. The novice Village Administrator received an $80,000 per year salary (which was increased 31% to $105,000 ­ sixteen months later), four weeks vacation and a whopping 24 sick days per year.

"Should the Village Board of Trustees decide to cast off Wahlen, his severance package would be $52,500 plus benefits paid for by the people of Mount Pleasant. A sweet parting gift from his old partner on his last day as Village President.

"Although the Fire and Police Chief were exempted from the deal, six other existing department heads at Village Hall would also qualify for the payout representing some significant and unprecedented cash.

"In fact, no other municipality I could find anywhere offers a severance package like this to their department heads. It is unheard of. More than a few city and village representatives I spoke with laughed ­ hard ­ when I explained the deal to them."

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

More strange going-ons in MTP - but no surprise considering Village Administrator Kurt Wahlen has been a DEFENDANT in numerous lawsuits - one of which cost the City of Racine $2.7M in legal fees and $1.35M to settle, according to City Attorney Scott Letteney. In another lawsuit, the Justices on the Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled that Kurt Wahlen participated in a scheme which violated a Person's rights, failed to follow the law, and acted improperly on Insider information provided by his employer. In yet ANOTHER legal action for workplace discrimination his Employer settled for $5,000 and paid $70,357 in legal fees! MTP Residents deserve something BETTER! Please join in moving Mt. Pleasant forward with POSITIVE change by voting on April 5 for Ken Otwaska, Jon Hansen, and Gary Feest.