$40 million budget, owns assets worth $500 million
and has an independent board
we are introducing an ordinance, with support from others, which better aligns accountability and responsibility. We strongly believe that to uphold its obligations to the voters of this region, the Metro Council should work closely with the MERC Commission to provide direct oversight of the MERC general manager. This ordinance requires the Metro Council to approve, by public vote, the MERC General Manager's initial hiring, continued employment and salary changes.
We believe this change is particularly timely given growing public concern about government employee salaries, the challenging economic environment and attention to the fiscal discipline of all of Metro's operations. We also believe this particular change will improve our ability to implement several of the very important and complex projects we are working on together.
Mr. Woolson's compensation [a salary of $184,000 and bonus of $14,000 last year] makes him one of the highest paid public employees in the entire state of Oregon, yet it is increasingly clear he is not performing well in the job. I urge you to consider the productivity and costs associated with the current management at MERC and take the step which is necessary to rectify the situation.