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Sep 07

The Golden Parachute

Comments (0) 12:00 AM posted by admin |

If you attend enough Ypsilanti City Council meetings, you’ll quickly understand that our City Manager, Ed Koryzno, is a well-liked and highly regarded City employee.

Q: Do you know why he’s so well-liked and highly regarded?

A: It’s because he’s so much smarter than every single person on City Council save Council Member Lois Richardson.

When last we left you, the City of Ypsilanti was neck deep in a financial crisis. The City technically needs about $1.4M more in revenue in order to balance the 2006 budget. I say technically because half of that number is capital expenditures (like half of a new ladder truck for the Fire Department) than can be put off for at least another year.

In case you didn’t know, the City of Ypsilanti is run on a Strong Manager / Weak Mayor system. Simply put, in such a system the Mayor does not have the authority to run the day-to-day operations. That part of the business is left up to the City Manager. In the case of Ypsilanti, that’s the aforementioned Mr. Koryzno. It’s not an easy job. For this reason, City Managers are rather well paid. In the case of Ypsilanti, we pay Mr. Koryzno a cool $95,703 a year. Nice work if you can get it.

Given the fact that Ypsilanti is between a rock and hard place when it comes to revenue; given that it’s the City Manager’s job to get us out of this position; and given that he hasn’t quite led us to the promised land, what is the most asinine (yet obvious) thing City Council could do? If you said extend his contract for another five years, then not only do you probably have a difficult time paying your bills each month, but you are a perfect candidate to be on City Council.

I’m sitting here laughing because I haven’t told you the best part yet.

City Council also agreed to enroll him in the City’s retirement plan for just thirteen grand more. That’s thirteen grand A YEAR. He had been able to sock away his own money under Michigan’s 457 or 401(k) plan, but City Council decided last night that we would do the socking for him.

Where this gets weird and where City Council has some explaining to do is the formula part. Your pension is dependent on your final average salary (FAC), the number of years of service, and a benefit mulitplier factor. The formula looks something like this: BM * FAC * Yrs

In the case of Mr. Koryzno, that’d be 0.025 * $95,703 * 5 years in the retirement plan or just under $12K a year during his retirement for as long as he lives.

If you’re sitting there doing math, then you’re probably thinking to yourself, “$13K a year for the next five years is only sixty-five grand. Where does the $36K a year for life come from?” Dude, you don’t want to know. But if you are a glutton for punishment, go to the MERS of Michigan web site and contact them. I don’t want to be the guy who ruins your day.

This is a pretty timely bit of information considering the whole Town Hall Meetings on keeping the City solvent. See you at Estabrook Elementary next Tuesday. It’s going to be a blast.

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