Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

September 30, 2012

Bringing the details to surface

— When retired Logansport policeman Wesley Peters got word that former firefighters had settled their lawsuit with the city, he called the clerk-treasurer’s office to find out when he could pick up his check.

Peters, after all, had accepted the exact same early retirement deal as the firefighters. If they had vacation pay coming, he figured, he must have vacation pay coming, too.

Mayor Ted Franklin insists that’s not the case. He says the money paid to firefighters was a one-time deal, and that any other former city employees who feel they are owed vacation pay are welcome to get an attorney.

The mayor should reconsider his position.

Whether city officials want to admit it or not, the city has set a precedent here.

It settled with seven employees. Why wouldn’t it settle with an eighth? Why make him go out and hire a lawyer to rack up additional expense for the taxpayers to cover?

This is not to say that the settlement was a good deal.

Two police officers and seven firefighters accepted a buyout at the end of 2010. The city wrote them a check for $26,000 and agreed that it would cover their health insurance premiums for up to 13 years.

The firefighters turned out for a city council meeting the next month saying they had also expected a vacation check totalling more than $4,000 apiece. Council members said, “Sorry. That wasn’t part of the deal.”

The firefighters sued. The city refused to settle.

The city’s attorney at the time said vacation pay was earned in the year it was taken. The firefighters left the payroll in 2010, he said, so they weren’t entitled to vacation pay for 2011.

Previous retirees always got accumulated vacation, the former firefighters argued. Maybe so, the council replied, but previous retirees didn’t get a check for $26,000.

And then the administration changed, and a new council majority took office. Franklin, who is himself on leave from the fire department, cashed his own  vacation check in June. He asked for the leave in 2012, but he insisted at the time he would have been eligible for vacation pay even if he’d started the leave in  2011.

Three months later, the city cut a check to settle the lawsuit.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • WOLFSIE: A trip to end all trips My wife is planning a very exciting vacation to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. This was a big surprise to me. Not the vacation part, but the 35 years. I thought it was 34. Right now she is on the back porch, the patio table stacked high with

    July 25, 2014

  • FREY: Hero pilot still on a mission to save lives Ordinary people who live their lives, do something spectacular one day, and then embrace a great cause after retirement are tops in my book.Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III is such an individual. He is the pilot who safely landed a US Airways airplan

    July 25, 2014

  • HAMILTON: Why incumbents keep getting reelected It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating. In June, a Gallup poll found members’ standing with the American people at a historic low for a mid

    July 24, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Write clear rules for vanity plate licenses We see vanity license plates regularly. Some are funny or thought-provoking. Others are just plain puzzling.One specialty plate backing autism research and support carries the heartfelt message “4MYSON.” Others are more prosaic, as in COLTFANZ.It’s c

    July 24, 2014

  • WILLIAMS: Four-legged family I have three pets. First, Paisley, a long-haired cream and tortoise Ragdoll cat. She’s the aristocracy in our group, compared to the rest of us, who are all blue collar folks. Her movements are slow and stately and her mien is gracious. She is by far

    July 24, 2014

  • Holly Sklar SKLAR: Small businesses want minimum wage increase If Congress actually listened to small business owners, the minimum wage would be going up. Instead, July 24 will mark five years without an increase since the federal minimum wage was set at $7.25 an hour in 2009.Small business livelihoods depend on

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • KITCHELL: Reaction times change, but motorists don't Earlier this year, I came home one afternoon to find the worst accident on North Street I can ever recall.A bevy of police cars and four flatbed trucks were removing the pawns in an accident that damaged four vehicles. It was a bit unusual considerin

    July 23, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Keeping insects under control curbs disease State health officials said last week mosquitoes in two northern Indiana counties tested positive for the West Nile virus, The Associated Press reported.The state health department said mosquitoes in Marshall and Pike counties were confirmed to have

    July 23, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Indiana's ethics laws in need of reform The Indiana State Ethics Commission’s recent approval of an agreement between the state inspector general and Tony Bennett settles the charges against the former state superintendent of schools.But the settlement raises more concerns about the loopho

    July 22, 2014

  • MARCUS: Tax simplification is no simple matter The governor and his select invitees to his closed tax conference last month praised simplifying Indiana’s tax code. It is an idea better loved by Americans than baseball, apple, pie or motherhood.There is no question that our national and state tax

    July 22, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.