Claremore Daily Progress

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October 17, 2012

COUNCIL- Back door pay increase causes rift

CLAREMORE — The Claremore City Council discussed a different type of agenda item Monday as Councilor Brandon Smith addressed the issue of transparency in government.

The item became an issue after City Manager Daryl Golbek approved a $4,000 raise for a department head after the city council had limited employee raises just a few weeks prior.
“I do not want anyone to assume that anything illegal or improper has gone on in the city government, but I have some concerns,” Smith said.
The goal is to have an open discussion about transparency, he added.
The employee presented Golbek with an email in which the employee stated that another company had made an offer of employment to her. The employee then asked Golbek to meet the pay increase that was offered by that company.
Golbek was provided with this request on a Friday and the employee stated she needed to know by Monday.
This employee serves as a department head and plays a critical role in city manager search, according to city officials. That issue combined with the limited time frame for a response made the issue more urgent, according to city staff.
The short notice provided by the employee, left Golbek to make the decision without consulting the council, according to Golbek.
The council took issue with the decision, as it was one of many different examples provided of last minute decisions that have occurred during the change in city managers.
The discussion became very heated as Smith and the council pressed the issue with city staff.
“The thing that I don’t understand is that in this particular situation we knew late of Friday and had to make a decision by Monday, the situation was critical,” Finance Director Ruby Maline said. “Where do you want to draw the line on these critical decisions.”

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