posted on February 20, 2014 10:03
John Drescher down at the News and Observer hit the nail on the head last week when he wrote: ‘Steve Beam needs a boss.’
What’s happened to Mr. Beam (the Director of the Raleigh Housing Authority) isn’t unusual. He’s got a government job and a political board with political goals. No one spends his own money. No one pays for his mistakes. Instead the bills land on the taxpayers’ doorstep.
That’s one glitch. Here’s another: After over a decade in office, like Billy Ray Hall of the Rural Center, Mr. Beam runs his board – it doesn’t run him. He takes eleven weeks of vacation a year – which is more than Mr. Hall. State auditors reported to Hall’s board that his $221,000 salary was ‘unreasonable’ – Mr. Beam makes $280,000 and his board thinks that imminently reasonable.
John Drescher’s point is simple: Mr. Beam needs a boss – and he suggests Beam’s boss ought to be Raleigh’s City Manager.
That would be a step in the right direction. But it may come up a bit short. So why not get the question out of the hands of the bureaucrats and politicians entirely. And put it to a vote. Let’s hold a simple referendum on the ballot this fall and let voters decide: Should Raleigh’s Housing Authority Director earn $280,000 a year and receive eleven weeks vacation?
That should settle it.