Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Will SEWRPC Have Two Executive Director Emeriti On Staff? Why Not?

The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, (SEWRPC), has functioned as such an insiders' club that Kurt Bauer, first executive director of the nearly-49-year-old agency, is still a three-quarters' time consultant there - - with a $6,500-per-month salary, office and a 2008 Ford Crown Vic sedan at his disposal, to boot.

Now Phil Evenson, the executive director who replaced Bauer in 1997, is getting ready to retire at the end of this month.

Will history repeat itself?

Will Evenson step into another, no-bid SEWRPC consultancy for retired-executive directors, hang on to the Chrysler Town & Country SEWRPC-owned minivan to which he has a priority assignment, and chair an advisory committee or two, as Bauer has been doing?

SEWRPC has said that one reason there are so few minorities on staff (3 of 49 professionals, and no senior managers) is that there is little turnover in those ranks.

You can say again:

Bauer has been there since the beginning, while Evenson worked at SEWRPC for 37 years and his replacement, current deputy director Ken Yunker, has been there for 34 years.

And when the Environmental Justice Task Force got wind of Yunker's impending selection earlier this year, and asked Evenson to stop the hiring process so the Task Force could participate, it was Evenson who decided the hiring should go forward, telling the Task Force that keeping the process on track was his decision - - and also that promotions like Yunker's was SEWRPC past practice, meaning that to consider other candidates would have been unfair to them.

Details in this post, towards the bottom.

There's something good to be said for continuity, but Yunker's in-house, no-search selection as Evenson's successor spoke volumes about just how tight and self-selecting is the circle and thought-process running and directing the agency.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As of today, February 4, it just did.