Friday, July 23, 2004

Villa Hills chief isn't leaving

Council keeps Brown on as part-time administrator

By Cindy Schroeder
Enquirer staff writer

VILLA HILLS - Michael "Corky'' Brown will retire as Villa Hills' 20-year police chief July 31, and return in the newly created position of part-time city administrator two days later.

What: Retirement party for retiring Villa Hills Police Chief Michael Brown
When: 4-8 p.m. July 31. Toast at 5 p.m.
Where: Villa Hills Civic Club on Rogers Road
Because the position is different from Brown's original job as police chief, and the new job will not yield pension benefits, Brown's case isn't one of double-dipping, the mayor said.

Brown's new job will pay a maximum of $40,000 a year, including use of a cell phone, Mayor Mike Sadouskas said. The appointment runs through June 30. After that, council will decide whether to continue the part-time job.

Wednesday, Villa Hills City Council made Brown part-time city administrator, effective Aug. 2, by a 4-1 vote. Council Member Bob Kramer, who had earlier said he didn't think there was enough work to justify the position, was absent because of an out-of-town commitment. Council Member Ed Niewahner, who also said he didn't think the position was needed, cast the opposing vote.

Two other people sent in resumes, but didn't pursue the job after they learned the part-time position carried no benefits and expired in 11 months, Sadouskas said.

Newport city officials recently came under scrutiny when they voted to rehire six veteran police officers, including the chief, after their upcoming retirements.

That action came a week after Kentucky's Justice and Public Safety Cabinet advised against the retire-and-rehire practice known as double-dipping.

Sadouskas said Villa Hills' situation is different.

"If (Brown) had retired and come back into police work, I wouldn't like that,'' Sadouskas said.

"I'm not a fan of double-dipping. I think people are turned off by things like that.''

The part-time administrator's job has no benefits, including vacation or sick days, and the time that Brown works won't count toward another retirement, Sadouskas said.

"We're mostly concerned about folks who retire and come back into a similar job,'' said Chris Gilligan, spokesman for the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet.

Brown has been juggling Villa Hills' day-to-day administrative duties along with his police chief's job for about two years. Besides overseeing daily operations, he will deal with residents' questions and concerns, and will represent the city at meetings. He also will oversee special projects, including the road improvements that would be funded with a proposed street tax should voters approve it this fall, Sadouskas said.

"There's nobody who knows the functions of this city better than Michael Brown,'' Sadouskas said. "He's assisted in developing the city budget for years. He's served as our Web master and maintains our computer network. He has a real solid understanding of road construction. And he understands all the policies and procedures of the city because he helped write them.''

Lt. Dan Goodenough will succeed Brown as police chief. During his 18 years with the Villa Hills Police Department, Goodenough started the agency's Drug Abuse Resistance Education program and has overseen the department's bicycle rodeo and baby-sitting training programs.

Goodenough was the only one who applied for the police chief's job after it was posted in the department, Sadouskas said.

"Dan's been preparing for (the job) the last 10 years,'' Sadouskas said.

"I don't see how we could have improved on this hire.''


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