Former mayor of Spokane calls for bonus reform at Pasco City Hall

The former mayor of Spokane is questioning the city of Pasco's practice of merit awards.

This is the second meeting John Talbott has brought up the issue in just as many weeks. Last Monday Talbott was escorted out of the council meeting for talking out of order. On Monday, he was able to finish, but promises he will continue to come back until the council hears his concern.

Talbott's concern lies with the how the city manages merit pay increases, much like bonuses, that can be handed out at the city manager's discretion. Talbott cited that $50,000 dollars in awards shouldn't be going to things like attendance, good driving and safety. It's money he said should be left in the city coffers to pay for things currently bankrupt.

"Dinner should be a nominal thing, a sandwich or something, but not the Red Lion," he said. "We annually take all the employees to the Red Lion for a banquet that costs the city some $14,000and we're shutting the pools down, $14,000 and we can't get the services because 'we don't have the money.'"

KEPR asked Gary Crutchfield for comment, but he said he did not have the time. Last week we submitted a public records request for all city bonuses and merit awards that have been given in the last two years. The only one awarded over $10,000 was to Gary Crutchfield in January of this year. Crutchfield received a $12,000 dollar merit award for his "forward thinking relating to financial matters."