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  1. #1
    Martha! Number 47's Avatar
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    10.24.16 @ 12:23 PM
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    Default Cleveland: Council Re-Appoints 'Double-Dipping' Colleague

    Cleveland: Council re-appoints 'double-dipping' colleague

    CLEVELAND -- By a 14-3 vote, Cleveland City Council's caucus voted earlier Monday to reappoint Ward 4 Councilman Ken Johnson to the seat he vacated when he retired Dec. 31.

    Council made this official at its Monday night meeting.

    Johnson's been a councilmember 33 years and a city employee for 47 years. He retired New Year's eve to make sure he received a guaranteed 3 percent cost-of-living yearly increase in his retirement paychecks.

    "Thank you for entertaining my request to rejoin you," he told members.

    Council has traditionally allowed members departing in mid-term to pick their successor.

    This is the first time a council member has asked to have themselves reappointed.

    "This is certainly awkward," said council member Jay Westbrook, who voted to support Johnson's request.

    Johnson said, "I don't think I'm gaming the system... This is not about money. It's about the finishing the work I started when voters elected me in 1980."

    His council salary is $74,000. He claimed not to know how much his retirement benefits are.

    Westbrook and Council President Marty Sweeney chose not to make the same decision.

    Those voting "no" were council members Mike Polensek, Dona Brady and Brian Cummins. They argued that Johnson's request put council in a compromising position.

    Those supporting Johnson said last-minute changes in the pension plan forced his decision and is understandable.

    Sweeney said, "Ken Johnson could have retired 17 years ago...He is here because of the actions of the state legislature."

    Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland said, "Many people are doing this. Many people have done it. Many people wish they could do it,"

    Johnson, 65, said he will seek re-election this fall.

    Kesha Parks has run unsuccessfully against Johnson once before. She intends to run against him again.

    "I don't think it's fair he is asking his colleages to reappoint him," she said.

    Johnson intended to have former Council President George Forbes administer the oath Monday night. But Forbes had to cancel because of a medical issue.

    Those voting no at Monday night's meeting will be suspended from the Council Caucus. Council President Marty Sweeney invoked the "unit" rule with majority support.


  2. #2
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    10.24.16 @ 05:00 PM
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    this is rampant all over Ohio this year............there have been changes to the Ohio Govt employee pension fund that take effect and so to avoid those changes, elected officials are "retiring" and then asking to be reappointed to their previous positions so that they can collect both their salary and and maintain their current pension.

    I know of many cases of elected officials who ran for re election this November knowing that immediately following the election they would retire and either be named the interim person or just retire immediately and wait until January and get sworn in again

    in our area where jobs are tight and opportunities are limited it is particularly heinous that job holders are playing this game to maximize their retirement when very capable people are waiting in the wings for an opportunity at supervisory positions

    that's what happens when lawmakers make laws that govern themselves

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    10.24.16 @ 07:36 PM
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    So is anyone in public office in Cleveland and Chicago NOT a crook?
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