What we have here is a big difference in opinion. Here’s some point-counterpoint.
Jerry Abramson says he needed Rick Johnstone and Jane Driskell to save the city by working on the budget, so he made a deal and paid them, and didn’t allow them to take vacation. So some extra vacation pay was in order, even though it had never been done before. “I feel very confident that I made the right decision for the people of this community,” he told the C-J.
Kelly Downard, the Republican Metro Council member, says that “every single person who works for this city should be outraged.”
Abramson’s H.R. guy, Bill Hornig, supported the unprecedented move. Police and firefighters union bosses were enraged.
Potential mayoral candidates Jim King and David Tandy put their feet firmly on both sides of the fence, hesitant to side with the Mayor or to speak out against him.
Oh, and the newspaper, of course, weighed in on Jerry’s hiring decisions Sunday, leading the cheers in an editorial that was sugar-coated even for a paper that’s never wavered from supporting Abramson. It called the Kim Bunton fiasco an aberration in hiring, ignoring the debacles involving, say, Animal Control and IPL.
Republicans, of course, love this kind of story. Here’s how GOP Party chair Brad Cummings piled on:
“It was recently uncovered that Mayor Abramson broke the law by awarding extra vacation pay for two of his cronies, Jane Driskell and Rick Johnstone. He claims this was the right action to take for the city of Louisville. We find this statement to be highly offensive to those who work in city government. I guess it’s official, there is one set of rules for his friends and another for the rest of city employees.”