The Knysna Special Council Meetings of June 30 2016 was sensationally disturbing, the clearest example of the Administration of the Knysna Municipality and politicians versus opposing politicians and the public.
First there was the battle for control of the Planning Tribunal. Then the secret green paper session resulted in an initiation of an independent investigation into Municipal Manager Grant Easton.
The Administration, under Easton, lost for the third time when they tried to allegedly overpay the Directors with regards their bonuses.
KNYSNA MUNICIPAL SALARIES OVER R1-MILLION P/A
Note that it has been previously reported that the majority of top management are earning packages worth over R1-million annually.
It’s also possible that Easton is earning a salary more than is illegally allowed, approximately R1.3-million.
That situation is further worrying considering that the Democratic Alliance failed to to rectify the situation despite promising to do so when the salary of Lauren Waring, his predecessor, was exposed.
6-MONTH BATTLE TO GET INFORMATION
Ray Barrell (DA) stated the rules which, for example, states that a performance ranking of 75% or more gets a 10-14% bonus. Despite no director gaining a 100% in their evaluation, they were been bonuses as if they had.
“The MM is recommending,” Barrell continued, “that all the directors, except himself, are to be given the top bonus, as if they got 5 out of 5 evaluations… which they didn’t.”
Barrell said that he’d been “asking for information since January” but that Municipal Manager Grant Easton had only given it to them now.
As this was a Special Council Meeting, Easton had only provided the information after the Council, under the current politicians, was supposed to be closed.
It was thus further notable that Easton was absent from this meeting.
When debate over how to gain answers ensued between the DA and the ANC, Peter Myers (DA) said that, “We’re arguing over a technicality. Ideally, we would have liked to put the question to the Municipal Manager who isn’t here today. We don’t need to go to a third party. This is a technical equation that needs to be explained.”
R220,000 MUNICIPAL BONUSES OVERPAYMENT
Easton wants the Directors to be paid R913 000, that includes the alleged R220 000 extra that Easton has added (note that bonuses are paid a year after the period evaluated, figures below are rounded off to the nearest thousand):
- R156 000 – Municipal Manager Grant Easton
- R155 000 – Director Michael Rhode
- R151 000 – Director Mike Maughan Brown
- R136 000 – Director Dawie Adonis
- R134 000 – Director Bevan Ellman
- R 89 000 – William Fillies (temporary director)
- R 76 000 – ex-Municipal Manager Lauren Waring
- R 14 000 – Avitha Sunkar (temporary director)
Those municipal bonuses figures were not included in the original agenda and were gained through a supplementary.
As no technical debate could ensue, there can be no judgement until the matter is heard by the new Council after the elections.
COPE’s Elrick van Aswegen asked the question that the public will consider most relevant: “Did those people perform to such an extent that Knysna Municipality is in a better place?”
Read the April 2017 update on this story.