DeKalb County Online: Rental Inspection Manager Hired Last Year

Surprise! The City of DeKalb has been paying the “proposed” Rental Inspection Program Manager for the better part of a year now:

According to records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, filed by DeKalb County Online, the City hired an independent contractor, retired DeKalb Police Lt. James Kayes, to perform the duties of a Rental Inspections Manager in October, 2007. The contract, which runs through September, 2008, states that Kayes is paid $40 per hour for each hour of work he turns in on a bi-weekly basis.

The contract does not specify a limit to billable hours and includes reimbursement for expenses incurred by Kayes, plus use of a City vehicle and equipment. Kayes reports to the Community Development Director, Russ Farnum.

City attorney, Norma Guess, explained in a response letter regarding the FOIA request that the contract was approved by City Manager, Mark Biernacki. Her letter stated that the position and the contract was discussed by City Council during closed sessions and therefore the minutes regarding those discussions are not available to the public.

Mr. Biernacki is allowed to approve expenses of up to $20,000 per year without Council approval and Mr. Kayes has been paid up to about $6000 per month. Watch the monthly check registers and you do the math. [Update for clarification: If there is not a cap of $20,000 per year in the contract–and there’s not–only the negotiations should have been private. The contract itself should have been approved in open session, a la Daley Group.]