- October 15, 2015
Doug Logan, the city’s new homeless coordinator, has been on the job for just three weeks — enough time for City Commissioner Susan Chapman to float the idea of eliminating funding for the position.
Last week, Chapman placed an item on the agenda for the July 6 City Commission meeting discussing the suspension of funding for Logan’s position. Logan began work as the city’s director of special initiatives on chronic homeless on June 8.
"I am getting tremendous amount of public negative feedback concerning the qualifications and the appropriateness of the hire." — Susan Chapman
His selection was immediately met with criticism concerning his lack of experience dealing directly with homelessness. Logan previously worked as the commissioner of Major League Soccer and CEO for U.S. Track & Field. Despite attempts from city administration to defend the hire, Chapman said she hasn’t heard a favorable response from her constituents.
"I am getting tremendous amount of public negative feedback concerning the qualifications and the appropriateness of the hire," Chapman said.
Chapman isn’t enamored with the choice, either — particularly considering the amount of money the city is investing in the new position. Logan’s contract, which runs through September 2015, entitles him to an annual salary of $120,000.
"I was looking — if we were going to pay the top dollar — for someone who had actual experience and training in implementing homeless solutions," Chapman said.
As city manager, Tom Barwin has the sole authority to hire and fire most employees, including Logan — and he’s standing behind the hire. As a result, Chapman is proposing cutting off funding altogether, despite the commission’s previous endorsement of an eight-point plan that included the hiring of a homeless coordinator.
"We have no other way to address it other than stating our opinions" Chapman said. "I certainly have stated my opinion to the city manager."
Update: In an email to city staff Sunday evening, Chapman indicated her initial request may not be permitted by the rules outlined in the city charter. As a result, she requested the agenda item be amended to also discuss a potential vote of no confidence in the hire of Logan. A request for clarification from City Attorney Robert Fournier was not immediately returned.