As in how golden was municipal manager Trafford Hall’s parachute?
Readers will recall that, in line the agreement both had signed, neither the mayor nor Hall would say how much the latter’s severance package was worth (Sentinel, February 16).
So we made a Freedom of Information request and duly got the relevant documents within the required 30-day time limit, but unfortunately just too late for last week’s paper.
(Just an aside, what is the point of the two parties signing an “I shall not tell” agreement when they know full well the information will have to be provided under the FOI rules. Seems rather pointless.)
And the answer on severance is two year’s pay – that’s $282,230 – plus benefits.
Which Hall, as he was entitled to do, has decided to take in the form of a regular monthly pay cheque plus benefits rather than a lump sum – although he can change that at any time.
Why that much?
The amount is stipulated in the June 8, 2007 letter of employment signed by then mayor Rick Wozney, on behalf of the city, and Hall.
Section 3a of that agreement says the city can terminate Hall with cause “without any notice or pay in lieu thereof”.
Section 3b says the city can terminate the manager “without cause, for any reason at any time” provided it pays the manager a severance payment “equal to 24 months of full remuneration and full benefits to which the manager is entitled at the date of termination.”
So, on its face, Hall was terminated “without cause”.
And, in exchange for the two-year severance package, agreed not to come after the city for any more than that.
But was he really fired?
Or was it, as the mayor said in her February 7 statement announcing Hall’s imminent departure, that “The decision of his leaving is a mutual one which we agreed to be in the best interests of both the District of Kitimat and for Mr. Hall?”
More next week.