Friday, March 21, 2008

Mayor Pike's Former Campaign Manager on taxpayer-subsidized "Retainer?"

Breaking news from Sam Taylor's Blogs regarding new hires at the City:

Comment from: Karl [Visitor]

And one more local position filled. A position directly under the Mayor, as I understand.The City Council must have had some say in this person's screening & hiring. The Mayor's assistant to affairs with the Port or something like that?A Bellingham woman with a name I can't pronounce. Can you tell us more about her position with the Mayor and City? Who does she work under? The Council or Mayor?

Permalink 03/19/08 @ 14:10 Comment from: Sam Taylor [Member]

Karl - I just called the mayor because I have no idea what you're talking about. He said that you might be thinking about Sati, his campaign manager? Pike is considering her for potential positions in the future and said he has talked or will talk with new CAO David Webster about a role she might play. As of now she has a contract with the city for $37,500 I believe for consulting work.

Sati Mookherjee, Mayor Pike's former campaign manager, has been retained by Mayor Pike as a communications consultant, effective December 1, 2007, to provide a "Works and Communications Plan." Her current salary is $50 dollars an hour or $37,000 dollars a year.

A copy of her Consulting Contract can be found at:$All)/04630360EC8E8A24882573CD000F5B79/$File/20080003.pdf?OpenElement. Ms. Mookherjee's business license reports December 1, 2007 as the business start up date. A copy of the brand new business license can be found at the WA state DOL site.

Why would Mayor Pike need a consultant to assist him with meeting coordination, facilitation, public relations, communcation and research? (When he already has a skilled City Communications Director and a number of other experienced public relations staff working for him)?

Is it appropriate for the Mayor to ask David Webster, (the newly appointed CAO), to find a suitable City position for Sati, his former campaign manager?

Other prospective City employees are required to apply for job positions through the City's highly competitive, non-discriminatory hiring process.

Why is Sati being treated differently than other probable job applicants? Shouldn't every qualified job applicant have the right to apply for the job that Sati may be considered for?

Almost half of the 2008 Neighborhood Association Small and Simple Grants Applications were recently denied by the Mayor, due to a lack of funds. (He could only approve $40,000 of the grant applications).

Yes, $37,000.00 dollars would go a long way in assisting the financially-starved neighborhood associations.

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