Two retired government officials from Sacramento may soon be collecting city paychecks and their state pensions.
If the city council approves the requests on Thursday, former Sacramento Area Council of Governments CEO Mike McKeever would be the new Chief of Staff for Mayor Darrell Steinberg.
Former City of Sacramento Director of Public Works Jerry Way would be the new assistant to Interim City Manager Howard Chan.
Craig Powell of the independent government accountability group Eye on Sacramento says the city should be able to find someone else to fill those positions.
"We think they're trying to shoehorn a couple of friends and confidants of city officials into these positions on an interim basis and they're skirting the law and we think that's wrong and it also is a burden on taxpayers," says Powell.
The law says retirees are ineligible for rehire within six months of leaving their former positions unless the city council determines it is "critical to fill a specific position."
Linda Tucker with the City of Sacramento says hiring people with experience makes sense.
"Because it's an interim situation all the way around with an interim city manager and an interim assistant city manager, this is a perfect opportunity to bring in an annuitant when you don't know exactly who will be the permanent solutions to those positions," says Tucker.
McKeever retired December 31st. Way retired in mid-October.
McKeever would make $55.85 an hour, up to $53,000 a year and Way could make $86.91 an hour or, up to $82,000 a year.
Kelly Rivas with Mayor Steinberg's office says the move to hire McKeever would save the city about half the cost of hiring the typical employee.
"We believe strongly that, by any definition, the City is getting a unique bargain here, given that Mike will earn a significantly lower compensation, and cost the city taxpayers far less than a Mayoral Chief of Staff hired as a regular employee.
Both men would make the maximum hourly rate, but would be limited to working 960 hours 120 days per year and would not receive benefits in addition to their pensions.
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