Hoover council president calls for 'serious discipline' of employees for change in police retirement pay



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youtube video tells a different story

I watched the youtube video and one of the younger member said that he had discussed the issue with Allan Rice and had come to the conclusion that the city's lawyers were working with the RSA on an answer. I gather this is because the RSA is the only one who can provide an answer since they set the rules and regulations. Hoover is a member city and pays into the system. While I know Gene to be a good man and respect his record, he is not correct in stating that the city council had the right to vote on compliance with the reporting change. This would be the equivalent of the city voting to agree/disagree with a premium increase from Blue Cross or a rate increase from Alabama Power. Alabama is not a home rule state, so when a state agency hands down a change, the city does not have the choice as to whether or not to comply.

Doc B 295 days ago

This is Leadership?

The real reason that Smith went of on his tantrum has become very clear. He's running paid ads on Facebook highlighting how he "stood up" on this issue. Although the city manager said he had already told Smith that they were looking into this and if a mistake happened it would be corrected. Sounds like Smith cares more about getting elected than he does about handling issues in a professional way.

Anybody But Smith 297 days ago

Over the Top

Gene Smith really went over the top in his response. This could have been an honest mistake by city employees trying to comply with the law -- in this case, a judicial decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, which is every bit as much a part of "the Law" as any other state law. Maybe they misinterpreted the law, which is easy to do even for trained lawyers. After all, this case went up to the Alabama Supreme Court because reasonable minds disagreed about the lower court's decision. Why would Mr. Smith ascribe all kinds of malicious motives to these employees in his wild speculations about what happened? Mr. Smith, if you have some solid evidence that these employees were out to screw over the police, then you should cite that. Otherwise, why don't you give the people who work for you the benefit of the doubt? Oh, you thought you could score some cheap political points by showing yourself as pro-police and anti-bureaucrat. Well, this voter was not impressed. I admire Mayor Brocato's calm and even-handed response. I hope Mr. Smith is humble enough to take some lessons in leadership from our mayor.

Daniel D. 298 days ago

Public Safety Spending

Did the consultant compare the percentage of the budget on public safety to what those others City pay? Hoover is not made of money.

This is ridiculous. If a mistake was made, the Mayor will correct it. Political Gene is up to something, perhaps he is running for Mayor.

Hoover treats its public safety employees damn well. From their salaries to the most expensive VIKING appliances in some od the fire stations, to body armor, police cameras and equipment, police drones, mobile swat units and our salaries.

As a resident, I don’t appreciate the City Council President politicizing our public safety workers. It started with former Mayor Ivey and his fire department union endorsement.

Somebody got the police department in a frenzy over pay. If you don't like working for Hoover, then go work somewhere else. There is a long list of officers that would love to work for our City.

City VOTER 298 days ago

Re: Public Safety Spending

City VOTER.....

No, no one got the police department in a frenzy over pay. What concerned the officers was the fact that Human Resources and City management unilaterally made a decision that has a very negative impact on their RETIREMENT benefits. None were there due to dissatisfaction over their salaries or that they don’t like working for Hoover. There are many reasons one could assume were behind the change but contrary to what was claimed, it wasn’t due to the Supreme Court decision concerning STATE employee retirement contributions. RSA makes no such requirements on municipalities. To put a number on the “oops” that HR made, consider this - a patrol officer who is topped out in the current pay scale would stand to lose nearly $7000.00/yr in retirement benefits with the “time reporting” change (as it was called) as it is now. That is what had the officers concerned. Yes, you are correct, the city provides its officers with top notch equipment... as it should. That equipment is used to protect them and YOU. So quite frankly, no expense should be spared. As far as your statement that there is a long list of officers that would love to work for our city, you are sorely mistaken. Why else do you suppose the city undertook the pay scale study in the first place? I’ll tell you why, because recruiting numbers have been falling for years and many of the applicants that were interested were not of the caliber that the residents have come to expect from a Department as distinguished as Hoover. The number one reason behind the lack of qualified applicants is due to the lack of competitiveness in our pay scale. While Gene Smith’s presentation may have been theatrical, it was hardly a politicization of the public safety workers. The issue is now in the public square where it should be as this will keep the mayors “feet to fire” so to speak. While you may trust the mayor to do what’s right behind closed doors, I prefer we trust but verify.

Gary W. 297 days ago

Gary W

Thank you for your comments. Hopefully, the Mayor does the right thing and a mistake this egregious does not occur again or at a minimum run by the legal department first for clarification before implementing this type of change. Kudos to the SGT that saw the error and brought it to the City’s attention.

Hoover PD and FD do a great job serving our city and its residents.

Hoover VOTER 297 days ago

Birmingham Politics Comes to Hoover

Well, it's finally happened after months and months of rumors behind the scenes. The discord between the council president and the mayor is nothing new. It has, and will continue to obstruct the work of the council and city until 2020 when one or both leave city leadership. What happened years ago should not be used as a weapon to shut down progress. The best thing both men could do is to pass the torch to Posey, Murphy, Middlebrooks and Shaw, who are the future of this city. If you watch the webcast, you can clearly see who was/who wasn't involved in the embarrassment that occurred last night. I thought this behavior ended in 2016 when we cleaned house, but I was wrong. Time to finish the job in 2020.

Pete 298 days ago