Never buy into a politician’s b.s. when he or she says they want to run things “like a CEO.” That’s a claim that’s always made with a pretext of fiscal responsibility, but don’t trust it.
All you need to do is look at the $210 million bag of swag Bob Nardelli, the departing chief executive officer of Home Depot, got away with to know that most real CEOs these days are in it mainly to enrich themselves with, of course, the help of enabling boards of directors.
Are CEOs like Nardelli the model you want your elected officials to follow? If so, then hold onto your wallet.
In yesterday’s column, I talked a lot about municipal officials who’ve lately given themselves raises…I focused on New Rochelle where the part-time mayor will see his salary rise at least 30 percent to almost $85,000 in 2008. Sure, it’s hardly a king’s ransom. But the city’s business isn’t run by the mayor. It’s run by a city manager, who gets $163,000 a year.
Before I wrote the column, I talked at length to Chris Selin, a Democratic councilmember, who along with two others on the council voted in the minority on the pay raises.
I didn’t quote Selin in the column (not enough space), but here’s something she said about the mayor’s job that’s worth putting into the blog.
Said Selin: “Really, the smount of time it takes to do this job well is a lot more than part-time. It truly is, but you have to take into consideration the fact that it’s NOT A CEO’S POSITION (Emphasis mine). It is not the day-to-day running of the city.
“The city manager does that. It is a policy job and, on top of that, it’s ceremonial.”