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.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.
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