Amend the Schommer Resolution Into Two Resolution & Amend the Schommer Consultation Agreement
Background: There is a bit of controversy involving the resignation of our (former?) City Manager here in Huber Heights, Ohio.
He’s (might be) receiving a lump sum of $150,000. Some say it’s payment for future consultation, some say it’s a severance, some even go as far as to say it’s hush money.
Here’s the original announcement from the March 8, 2021 City Council Meeting:
Note the important bit the Mayor says immediately following the executive session (at 1:08 in the above video):
Okay, it is now 7:45 and we have come out of executive session, and based on the discussion I would have a, entertain a motion to direct the City Law Director to execute a resignation and consultation agreement of City Manager Rob Schommer for a total of $150,000 for that agreement.
Rob Schommer’s annual pay, per his employment agreement dated January 9th, 2018, is $141,060. However, it includes annual cost-of-living adjustments.
His actual annual pay for 2020 (per a public records request by the Dayton Daily News) is $144,302.85 “regular hours”, $6,764.20 “vacation hours”, and $2,254.73 “personal hours” for a total of $153.321.78.
“Annual” of course meaning a 12-month period.
(Both of these public records requests were from the Dayton Daily News; you can see those records requests on Huber Heights’ Public Records Requests page.)
This agenda item - “A Resolution Accepting The Resignation Of And Ratifying And Approving A Consulting Agreement With Robert Schommer.” - should be split into two resolutions:
The first resolution should be to accept the resignation of Mr. Schommer.
The second should be to ratify and approve the consulting agreement with Mr. Schommer.
This would also conform to the City Charter Article V, Section 5.03 (B):
Section 5.03 - Form.
(B) Each ordinance or resolution shall contain only one (1) subject, which shall be expressed in its title; provided that appropriation ordinances may contain the various subjects, accounts and amounts for which monies are appropriated and that ordinances and resolutions which are codified or recodified are not subject to the limitation of containing one (1) subject.
Furthermore, the payment to Mr. Schommer in the consulting agreement should not be greater than his current salary. The current consulting agreement, as written, states he will receive $150,000, and that he is to be available for consultation through September 8, 2021. September 8th is about six months from now.
$150,000 for a six-month period is equal to $300,000 annual, which is about double his current salary. Either he should be available for a full year, or the amount should be $75,000.
Lastly, the current consulting agreement, as written, states he will receive the payment as a “lump sum within seven (7) days of the date of this Agreement.” Receiving the money as a lump sum gives Mr. Schommer no financial incentive to continue any consultation with the city. Instead, he should receive payments periodically so long as he continues to provide ongoing consultations to the city. If he should cease being “available for consultation” through the terms of the consultation agreement, he should cease being paid.
These changes can be made at this meeting by making a motion to amend the resolution.
This is allowed both per the Article V, Section 5.10 of the City Charter:
Section 5.10 - Amendment.
(A) A pending ordinance or resolution may be amended at any time prior to its passage by the Council by a majority vote of the members of the Council present and voting on the amendment, and such amendment shall not require additional readings of the ordinance or resolution.
(B) Any ordinance or resolution, or the City Code, may be amended by the passage of subsequent ordinances or resolutions that: revise existing sections or parts thereof; enact new or supplemental sections or parts thereto; or repeal existing sections or parts thereof. This Section does not prevent repeals by implication.
And Chapter IV, paragraph 2. j. of the Rules of Council:
- Motions When Question Is Before Council: When a question or proposition is before or under debate by Council or when a motion has been made, only the following motions can be accepted:
- To amend. A motion to amend is to modify the main motion by inserting or adding; striking out; or striking out and inserting. No motions can be made to amend an amendment. A rejected amendment may not be moved again in the same form (requires majority vote).
It does require a majority vote, which means 5 councilmembers (as defined by Chapter II., Section L. 2. of the Rules of Council):
L. Quorum and Majority Votes:
- Majorities: In determining a simple, a two-thirds (2/3), or a three-fourths (3/4) majority vote of Council, the Mayor is counted. Majorities are based on the total number of Councilmembers holding office (not simply those present). Therefore, majorities are calculated, in normal situations, using the number nine (9) as denominator. Thus, five (5) constitutes a simple majority, six (6) a two-thirds (2/3) majority, and seven (7) a three-fourths (3/4) majority.
(They can also make a Motion to Reconsider per paragraph (4) of the same chapter:
(4) Motion to Reconsider: Motions to reconsider an approved item must be made before adjournment of that session of Council for those items of legislation that are effective immediately; motions to reconsider other legislation must be made prior to the close of the next following regular meeting of Council. A motion to reconsider may be made only by a Councilmember who voted with the prevailing side. A motion to reconsider, being laid on the table, may be taken up and acted upon at any time when the Council is engaged in the transaction of other business. No motion to reconsider may be made more than once on any matter and the same number of votes is required to reconsider the action of Council as was required to pass or adopt the matter (requires majority vote).