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Getting Rich On The Public Teat

By Greg L | 16 March 2011 | Manassas Park | 24 Comments

Now maybe this makes sense, but to me it seems really strange.  Why would a municipality pay someone $231,000 a year (plus benefits and expenses) to work part time up to 27 1/2 hours a week?  If their duties for that municipality exceed 110 hours in a month, they get to bill the city $175 an hour, which could net out a cool $364,000 a year if he’s working as hard as the rest of us these days?  Now add to this that the employment contract is for five years, the municipality can’t fire the guy except in really rare circumstances, and he gets two five year extensions on the deal plus his rates increase by at least the local consumer price index for the DC area?

And did I mention this municipality is kinda really broke?

This is the curious employment contract Manassas Park City Attorney Dean Crowhurst has with the City of Manassas Park, the municipality that was charging residents an eye-popping $1.65 per thousand in real estate taxes last year.  Right before the Governing Board was installed last year, they executed an employment contract with Dean Crowhurst, locking in Crowhurst as potentially the highest paid municipal employee in Northern Virginia whose compensation is not based on commission.  For part-time work, Crowhurst earns more than the County Executives in Prince William County, Fairfax County, or Loudoun County — who work full time.  This is more, I believe, than any of these municipalities pay any members of their legal staff.

I really like the part about not being able to fire the guy unless he loses his law license, is convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor  involving “moral terpitude.”  I’d like to pull in well over six figures in an employment contract where I don’t have to show up or do a darned thing and they can’t fire me unless I go to jail or lose a professional certification until one of the five year periods expire.  And I get an automatic raise every year.  Bonus!  I’d go on vacation.  For four years.  Meanwhile all those saps in Manassas Park better keep paying their taxes, because there are thousands of more drinks with umbrellas I want to sip by the beach as I watch the bikinis stroll on by.

Now what is Manassas Park doing away with so they can afford to lavish Dean Crowhurst with such magnificent taxpayer gifts for the next fifteen years?  How about some police officers, or road repairs, or adequately supervising employees at the rec center so they don’t molest middle school children?  Manassas Park instituted a $40 activity fee for students participating in sport, music and drama in order to save $1,300 a year, a sum that’s less than 8 hours of Dean Crowhurst’s time.  The city always seems to be in such dire straits it is compelled to have one of the highest real estate tax rates in the Commonwealth, but they can afford to pay their city attorney $175.00 an hour?

What, is city business negatively impacting his private law practice?  Or is it just municipal attorneys that are entitled to earning $200K salaries for less than 30 hours of work a week?

Seriously, I don’t get it.  Especially for Manassas Park.  Somebody please explain this gravy train to me.



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24 Comments

  1. Maureen said on 17 Mar 2011 at 4:30 am:
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    Well at least he has a contract. From what I am hearing the Manassas City attorney doesn’t even have one or it can’t be produced. Im not sure our council knows how much Bob Bendall makes a year off of us, the tax payer’s.

  2. mpcinsider said on 17 Mar 2011 at 6:11 am:
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    Well well well I wonder how many times he went over 110 hours. At the price MP can pay for some bills that have yet to be paid. Time to cut our lose and ax the attorney.

  3. VA_Magoo said on 17 Mar 2011 at 7:31 am:
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    Perhaps the lawyer will have to be convinced to “quit”, since he cant be fired…. We could try the Congressional approach and “defund” the project.

  4. Harry said on 17 Mar 2011 at 8:14 am:
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    Is this any worse than the big government proponents on the PWC Bored of Stupidvisors, Stewart, Covington and Stirrup fighting desparately to increase the number of Supervisors by one, at a cost of 1 Million the first year and 700,000 the second year. This after the big governmemnt guys, Stewart, Covington and Stirrup insisted on increasing their already bloated staff by one at an annual cost of nearly 1 million.

  5. Portia said on 17 Mar 2011 at 10:30 am:
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    Oh you would be shocked to know who is in the loop for some nice no strings attached free money thanks to the “largess” of your local government tax dollars - all with the help of Board and Council members no less - lets start a list!

  6. mpcinsider said on 17 Mar 2011 at 10:43 am:
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    http://www2.insidenova.com/news/2011/mar/16/manassas-park-kicks-budget-season-need-funds-ar-909970/

  7. Anonymous said on 17 Mar 2011 at 12:30 pm:
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    Glendell Hill couldn’t pay his taxes before becoming county sheriff. Now he lives in a million dollar gated mansion and rides around in a Mercedes Benz. Life is good.

  8. anonymous said on 17 Mar 2011 at 5:02 pm:
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    I hope Brian Keeper can get Dean out.Look what happened to Peter though.I AM SURE if Peter never had called out Dean he would still be on council and no one the wiser. Who do you think advised on keeping abuse at the rec center quiet? TP quit cause she didn’t agree andMoretta just followed Deans orders/advice.Whatever you want to call it.He gas been bad fifor Mp fir many years but has connections to cover his a@@

  9. Anonymous said on 17 Mar 2011 at 6:19 pm:
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    mpcinsider said on 17 Mar 2011 at 6:11 am: Flag comment

    Well well well I wonder how many times he went over 110 hours. At the price MP can pay for some bills that have yet to be paid. Time to cut our lose and ax the attorney.

    You are right but you must be more pc and not use such violent terms such as “ax.”
    You saw what happened to Sara Palin and the tea party by using terms like “in the crossfire” and her “targeting” congressional and senate sites. :)

  10. Anonymous said on 18 Mar 2011 at 7:50 am:
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    River Oaks Fire Station in Woodbridge - ceramic tile walls!!!

  11. Rich said on 19 Mar 2011 at 9:44 am:
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    Merely fyi- Most law firms charge a lot more than $175/hr. In DC, $350 to 600/hr is not unusual. Also, when you frequently use the same lawyer there is a smaller learning curve insofar as the lawyer is already familiar with the client and the client’s concerns. This too tends to keep legal bills down. And experienced counsel is typically more efficient and spends less time on a matter than relatively inexperienced counsel, such that overall legal bills may be lower even if the per hour rate is higher. It is unfortunate that we live in a litigious and often over-regulated society; no business or municipality enjoys paying legal bills, but they dislike being sued and losing lawsuits even more. I don’t know Crowhurst one way or the other so I’m not advocating for or against his deal, but a realistic sense of context is important.

  12. Anonymous said on 19 Mar 2011 at 12:39 pm:
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    I am paying 350 an hour for a civil lawyer currently to get the nazi lesbian liberal Dr. Spock worshiping CPS off my arsh!!!! Two hours for this guy exceeds one week take home pay!

  13. FrauD said on 21 Mar 2011 at 3:15 pm:
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    It’s sad to say, but I am not at all surprised. Too many of our elected officials and city employees think that we, the tax payers, are made of money and can just be squeezed a little bit more, to suit their agendas.

    However, if you don’t find time to attend a council meeting to raise heck about this, you are just as much to blame for the outcome.

    I believe that there is one tomorrow night, correct? Concerning, of all things, our next budget.

  14. Shheesshh said on 22 Mar 2011 at 9:31 am:
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    or adequately supervising employees at the rec center so they don’t molest middle school children?

  15. Shheesshh said on 22 Mar 2011 at 9:35 am:
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    wow ok the rest of my comment did not show up. I asked if there was an article somewhere about this accusation ? i seen the article about the child in the daycare program but I have not seen anything about middle school kids being molested ? thats a pretty bad accusation without proof, can you post a link with a news article about that ?

  16. Henry said on 22 Mar 2011 at 2:45 pm:
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    Anonymous said on 19 Mar 2011 at 12:39 pm:

    “I am paying 350 an hour for a civil lawyer currently to get the nazi lesbian liberal Dr. Spock worshiping CPS off my arsh!!!!”

    Anonymous said on 17 Mar 2011 at 12:30 pm:

    “Glendell Hill couldn’t pay his taxes before becoming county sheriff. Now he lives in a million dollar gated mansion and rides around in a Mercedes Benz.”

    You are a pitiful sole wildman… Maybe CPS can refer you to DSS for mental evaluation for being totally unable to seperate fact from fantasy - but then, have you ever. You have been liying for YEARS about Hill - and the rest of the world knows it…

    Get some help - Child Abuse is a terrible thing

  17. mpcinsider said on 29 Mar 2011 at 8:49 am:
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    It seems that MP fire chief is leaving for Texas. Look at comments belowthe article. I know fyreman1 the information give is true

    http://www2.insidenova.com/news/2011/mar/28/2/manassas-park-fire-and-rescue-service-calls-rise-ar-933330/

  18. mpcinsider said on 30 Mar 2011 at 5:54 am:
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    Since the fire chief is leaving in thirty days his wife the treasurer will be leaving for texas in june 2012 to join him.

  19. mpcinsider said on 30 Mar 2011 at 6:05 am:
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    http://www2.insidenova.com/news/2011/mar/29/manassas-park-budget-taking-shape-ar-935698/

    Hey Mr. Zumwalt or let me call you Jimmy.

    Jimmy your budget has more holes than a slice of Swiss cheese. If you think that that budget will hold up you are sadly mistaken. Jimmy you should ask for a pay cut of 10% across the board for all the directors and include yourself in that. Put your money where your mouth is Jimmy. MP will never recover from the mistakes that the mayor “Goof Up”, the petty city council, and all the former city manager did to screw the citizens of MP.

  20. Anonymous said on 30 Mar 2011 at 12:38 pm:
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    “Since the fire chief is leaving in thirty days his wife the treasurer will be leaving for texas in june 2012 to join him.”

    I understand that she will serve out the remainder of her term before leaving.

    This means an opening in 2013 when the treasurer is up for election. That means you or anyone else who is interested could either (1) run for treasurer or (2) find someone who wants to do it.

    It’s a full time job and the pay is decent.

  21. mpcinsider said on 6 Apr 2011 at 9:31 am:
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    It has been almost 2 years and only one business is in at the city center. Make you wonder why?

  22. . said on 11 Apr 2011 at 3:13 am:
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    Rumor has it that Clark is trying to charge too much for rent. Rumor also has it that city center was poorly constructed and the roof has leaks.

  23. mpcinsider said on 5 May 2011 at 5:34 am:
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    http://www2.insidenova.com/news/2011/may/04/teachers-speak-out-manassas-park-council-meeting-ar-1017240/

  24. mpcinsider said on 5 May 2011 at 5:36 am:
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    http://manassaspark.patch.com/articles/planning-officials-could-be-allowed-to-search-homes-without-owners-permission

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