Thursday, August 5, 2010

The (high) cost of succession

How should a business (or a government entity) control high costs of succession?

By good planning!

We probably don't want to look to McHenry County College (MCC) as a role model for succession planning. The taxpayers probably have no idea of the actual cost for the revolving door on the President's office at 8900 U.S. Highway 14, Crystal Lake, Ill.

Maybe it's better that we don't know. If we knew the truth about Dr. Packard's departure and that of his followers, then more taxpayers might be totally outraged at the waste of tax dollars to fund the big chair at MCC. Has that revolving door now been stopped? Will Dr. Vicky Smith, (that's Ed.D., not M.D.) be able to lock the coasters on her swivel chair and hang on for the ride?

Today's local paper announces the retirement (at age 52) of McHenry P.D. Chief Bill Brogan. OK, so he put 28 years into cop work. Congratulations. And how nice that he has chosen his next career to educate students in the art and science of police work. I regret not meeting him while he was in office; or his predecessor, Tom O'Meara, either.

But look at the predicament for McHenry P.D. because Bill Brogan was promoted into the Chief's office just 19 months ago, in December 2008. Apparently, the search committee forgot to include the question, "How long do you plan to serve as chief, if we appoint you?" Now the City gets to appoint another new chief. Will it pick one this time that can likely serve for 6-10 years?

Presumably, Brogan got a bump in pay when he started wearing the Chief's hat. What will his last year of higher pay cost the McHenry Police pension fund or whatever retirement plan he is in?

Not meaning to pick on Chief Brogan here. In Woodstock an officer was promoted to Deputy Chief and retired fairly soon after that. What will the total cost to Woodstock for that short-lived promotion?

And no one, to my knowledge, has really dug into the pay scheme at MCC to calculate just how much the inability of the trustees to select a permanent President of the College is really going to cost; not to mention the recruiting costs...

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