When a city employee retires from the City of Ashland, PERS (Public Employees Retirement System) rules state that they may be hired back by the city for no more than 1,039 hours in a calendar year.
Mike Faught, Director of Public Works, retired on March 31, 2017 and was rehired on April 1, 2017. He is considered a “new hire” according to his 1,039-cap contract, a copy of which is available to the public upon request from the City Recorder’s office. In this contract, Mr. Faught will receive his same departmental salary plus $350/month for use of his own car for public business, plus healthcare insurance benefits of $10,000+, for a contract period of six months.
According to Administrative policy (refer to Policy No. 2004.01.20), the subject of which is “Treatment of city of Ashland retirees continuing work with the City temporarily with no break in service,” the policy clearly states that “Premiums for health insurance will be the employee’s responsibility….” Temporary post-retirement employees will receive no other (COBRA) City benefits.”
Why is Mr. Faught receiving these benefits when no other City employees hired under a 1039-cap contract is entitled to receive such benefits?
City Attorney Lohman, and former City Administrator Kanner both signed Administrative Policy No. 2004.01.20 on October 17, 2014. The contract between the City and Mike Faught was signed by John Karns, Interim City Administrator, and Mr. Faught on March 23, 2017.
Why are taxpayers being asked to pay $10,000 in unauthorized retiree benefits for Mike Faught, benefits clearly disallowed under Administrative Policy? Why have the City Council and Mayor failed to notice or completely overlooked this contractual error? Has the Council been asked to approve the new contract that specifically includes payment for illegal, expensive, and unfair benefits?