Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ravenstahl Firings - Addendum

Two points, not raise elsewhere, but should be included somewhere; both are alluded to in the comments section here.

First, is the point raised by Judge Rufus Peckham questioning the "failures" of the appointees that prompted their firings. His Honor requests a metric by which their performance can be judged, and, indirectly criticizes the Mayor for his fig leaf of an excuse. Is the City doing badly? Probably, but how exactly did the Mayor decide that Duane Ashley was to blame? Not enough Ultimate Frisbee fields?

Second, is the point discussed by both me and MattH regarding the contracts of the Authority Executive Directors. I'm sure that most, if not all, of the EDs have some kind of buyout clause in their contracts and the Authorities that hired them would have to pay out big bucks to satisfy the Mayor's whims. Now, that just doesn't seem smart to me to potentially pay a couple hundred thousand bucks just to satisfy a perfunctory urge to have things one's way. Of course, that would come out of the Authorities' budgets, and not the general City coffers. What better way to spend your parking tax revenue, eh?

A final related point, brought up today involves the legality of the Mayor firing the EDs instead of the Board of Directors firing the EDs. This ultimately won't be a problem, as the Mayor appoints the Boards, but you could see a situation where the EDs sue their Authorities or the Mayor or the Authorities sue the Mayor. The whole thing is ripe with legal drama, with independently minded authorities pitted against elected officials.

A final, final point is that the general consensus on Grant Street seems to be that this was a poorly planned hatchet job by the Mayor. One too many Soprano episodes, perhaps?

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