A week after the Willamette Week outed the Portland Development Commission's expensive "management coach" as a deadbeat, The Oregonian ran essentially the same story on its front page this morning, as if it were news. Although the piece was of questionable weight, given the staleness of it, there was a line toward the end that I think summed up the PDC's reality-detach perfectly.
Here's a typical PDC setup. They hire a deputy director, Wyman Winston (left), for around $130,000 a year. But the guy has some "areas in need of improvement," and so they hire another in-house staffer, an "organizational development manager," at who knows what salary, to "help employees work together more efficiently." Then she, the "organizational development manager," runs out and finds them an outside consultant to "coach" the no. 2 guy, at another $132,000 or so for the contract.
So now it turns out that the consultant, Anthony Harris (right), has a trail of unpaid personal bills, including some serious delinquent taxes at federal, state, and county levels. Big embarrassment for the agency. So what's its reaction? Swear off "management coaches"? Vow to hire better people, so that it isn't necessary to pay two additional people to get the job done? Take a look into streamlining the bureaucracy?
Of course not. Here -- here's the reform that the negative publicity is bringing about:
After receiving questions from The Oregonian [*cough*], [Tracy] Smith [the "organizational development manager"] said she will propose tighter controls on coaching work. She will recommend all future coaching contracts go through the documented process she created.
Mayor Potter, please, please, please. Enough of this. If this is the best we can do, then it really is time to disband the PDC.
UPDATE, 6/12, 11:20 p.m.: The Tracy Smith part of the story gets more interesting. Read more here.