There are only two things that come out late Friday afternoons — TNDP press releases and stories people don't want you to notice. Last Friday, Joey Garrison reported on a story so outrageous you can see why Mayor Dean's office might have hoped you wouldn't see it.
Jim Fyke, the former Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation commissioner, starts working this week for the Metro Finance Department. He'll be making $60,000 a year and working under 20 hours a week so that he doesn't lose his pension.
That alone — that someone could make $60,000 a year working part-time for the city is pretty amazing — but it might be worth it if he were going to be, oh, I don't know, a part-time heart surgeon or a part-time bomb-defuser. So what's Fyke going to be doing?
Garrison reports that Metro Finance Director Rich Riebeling says, "We’ll assign him projects as they arise on a case basis," and, "The job will evolve over time."
In other words, he has no job description. They don't know what they're going to do with him, but apparently it's worth $60,000 a year to have him do it.
Here are some interesting numbers. The median household income in Davidson County is $45,828 and the per capita income is $27,797. Even the median family income ($57,601) is less than what Fyke will make to do whatever. (numbers from census.gov). The December unemployment rate for Davidson County was 8.6 percent, up from 8.3 the month before (source). A police officer trainee makes $34,208 a year (source). A circulation assistant at a library makes between $21,679- $28,186 for a full-time job with well-defined duties (source). Fyke will be making about as much as an experienced firefighter (source). Those are the kinds of numbers that make you wonder if anyone in the Mayor's office stopped to consider how very, very tacky this hiring is?
And the best part? At the same time Riebeling was hiring his pensioner friend to work part-time for $60,000 a year to do something, though they don't know what yet, he was asking city departments to give him a plan for cutting 3 percent from their budgets.
Call me silly, but maybe we start our cuts with the $60,000-a-year part-time bullshit jobs for our friends?