FL City Council hires engineering technician

Mark Peterson accepts position contingent upon action

Jennifer Mevissen
Staff Writer

To tighten this fiscal year’s budget, the Forest Lake City Council authorized the creation of an engineering technician last December.

The savings associated with moving the position in-house will be $90,500, with $51,000 being reflected in the 2012 general fund.

At Monday’s meeting, the council unanimously approved hiring Mark Peterson to fill that role. He accepted the job contingent upon their action. Last month, city staff interviewed eight candidates out of a pool of 50 applicants.

Mayor Chris Johnson said he’s glad it worked out the way it did; Peterson brings a lot of knowledge with him.

“This represents a significant savings,” Johnson said.

Peterson has been employed at Stantec, the city’s engineering consulting firm. He has principally served the needs of Forest Lake particularly as it relates to stormwater management.

In addition to his 35-plus years of experience as an engineering technician, Peterson also has an associates degree in architectural/construction technology and a bachelors degree in communications.

“I am very excited to continue my service to the city of Forest Lake in a more direct position,” he said in an interview on Tuesday morning.

His first day of being officially on the municipal payroll is this Friday, Feb. 17. Due to Peterson’s extensive experience in the civil engineering field, he will be coming onboard at the established grade 9 employee classification. The salary range proposed is $26.83 to $33.53 per hour and would include benefits.

“He’ll start at the top of the range,” said City Finance Director Ellen Paulseth.

Pay Equity Report

The council also approved the 2012 Pay Equity Implementation Report. Local governments must comply with the provisions of the 1984 act, which includes filing a compensation compliance report with the Minnesota Management and Budget Office – formerly Department of Employee Relations – every three years.

Paulseth explained that the city’s compliance report, for payroll data – totaling $4,476,133.70 – in place in 2011, was submitted in January 2012.

She said the pay equity act was designed to ensure that local government jurisdictions do not compensate female job classes consistently below male job classes of comparable work value.

Using the State of Minnesota’s software and the city’s payroll data, Paulseth said the results indicate that Forest Lake is currently in compliance.

However, there was a time when the municipality wasn’t. In May 2006, the consulted with Springsted – a public sector advisor – to perform a study on the pay structure that was in place at that time. Paulseth said the city met with it’s bargaining units to come up with its current grades.

As of today, she said there are more police female police officers than their male counterparts. With this report, the department became a balanced class.

“That helped us out actually,” Paulseth told the council Monday night.

  • http://malemattersusa.wordpress.com/ Male Matters

    Re: “She said the pay equity act was designed to ensure that local government jurisdictions do not compensate female job classes consistently below male job classes of comparable work value.”

    Who determines what is comparable? An politicized feminist group?

    If a woman wants the pay of a “comparable male job,” what’s stopping her from applying for the job’s next opening?

    No legislation to date has closed the gender wage gap — not the 1963 Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, not Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, not the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, not the 1991 amendments to Title VII, not affirmative action (which has benefited mostly white women, the group most vocal about the wage gap – http://tinyurl.com/74cooen), not diversity, not the countless state and local laws and regulations, not the horde of overseers at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and not the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act…. Nor will a “paycheck fairness” law work.

    That’s because pay-equity advocates continue to overlook the effects of female AND male behavior:

    Despite the 40-year-old demand for women’s equal pay, millions of wives still choose to have no pay at all. In fact, according to Dr. Scott Haltzman, author of “The Secrets of Happily Married Women,” stay-at-home wives, including the childless who represent an estimated 10 percent, constitute a growing niche. “In the past few years,” he says in a CNN report at http://tinyurl.com/6reowj, “many women who are well educated and trained for career tracks have decided instead to stay at home.” (“Census Bureau data show that 5.6 million mothers stayed home with their children in 2005, about 1.2 million more than did so a decade earlier….” at http://tinyurl.com/qqkaka. If indeed more women are staying at home, perhaps it’s because feminists and the media have told women for years that female workers are paid less than men in the same jobs — so why bother working if they’re going to be penalized and humiliated for being a woman. If “greedy, profit-obsessed” employers could get away with paying women less than men for the same work, they would not hire a man – ever.)

    As full-time mothers or homemakers, stay-at-home wives earn zero. How can they afford to do this while in many cases living in luxury? Because they’re supported by their husband, an “employer” who pays them to stay at home.

    Feminists, government, and the media ignore what this obviously implies: If millions of wives are able to accept no wages and live as well as their husbands, millions of other wives are able to accept low wages, refuse overtime and promotions, work part-time instead of full-time (“According to a 2009 UK study for the Centre for Policy Studies, only 12 percent of the 4,690 women surveyed wanted to work full time”: http://bit.ly/ihc0tl See also an Australian report: http://tinyurl.com/862kzes), take more unpaid days off, avoid uncomfortable wage-bargaining (http://tinyurl.com/3a5nlay) — all of which lower women’s average pay.

    Women are able to make these choices because they are supported or anticipate being supported by a husband who must earn more than if he’d chosen never to marry. (Still, even many men who shun marriage, unlike their female counterparts, feel their self worth is tied to their net worth.) This is how MEN help create the wage gap. If the roles were reversed so that men raised the children and women raised the income, men would average lower pay than women.

    See “Will the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Help Women?” at http://malemattersusa.wordpress.com/2011/12/03/will-the-ledbetter-fair-pay-act-help-women/

    By the way, The Next Equal Occupational Fatality Day is in 2020. Year 2020 is how far into the future women must work to experience the same number of work-related deaths that men experienced in 2009 alone. http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2010/04/equal-occupational-fatality-death-day.html

    • Eric Langness

      Feminist groups have done more in this country to destroy women than any group ever has.

  • U.R. Krazy

    I bet you wish you belonged to one.