Parker: Frank Jaeger retires, 9News exposé contributes to board angst over his continued employment

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From The Parker Chronicle (Chris Michlewicz):

Frank Jaeger, the Parker Water and Sanitation District’s general manager for 31 years, announced his plans to retire at the end of his contract in December, but some of the newly elected directors proposed immediately terminating his contract, just hours after they were sworn in May 17.

However, following a discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of losing the person with the most extensive knowledge of the water district’s history and operations, the board members decided to rescind the resolution to fire Jaeger.

A special executive session, which enables the board to privately discuss sensitive matters, is tentatively scheduled for May 21. Jaeger, who was reached at his office by phone a day after the May 17 meeting, believes the board will likely terminate his contract…

But Wasserman acknowledged that the board might have acted too hastily with the proposal to terminate Jaeger’s contract. He commended what he calls Jaeger’s “far-sighted” decision to build Rueter-Hess Reservoir, but says the project got too costly and out of control.

Jaeger, who makes no apologies for his blunt manner of speaking, said he has been unfairly targeted by the new board, the media and members of the public, despite what he sees as 31 years of devotion to “doing what’s best for our customers.”

Dozens of people attended the May 17 meeting, including Parker Water and Sanitation District employees, who were curious about what would happen to the man who has served as their general manager and been with the district longer than anyone else. Wasserman said it was “understandable” that they might be concerned and said they have no reason to fear losing their jobs.

From 9News.com:

Frank Jaeger has managed the Parker Water and Sanitation District since 1981. 9Wants to Know recently revealed that he and other managers were using government credit cards to pay for vehicle upgrades, numerous lunch meetings, and trips for conferences in places like Las Vegas and Florida. These expenses came as the district raised water rates for Parker residents.

Thursday night, Jaeger announced his retirement, but the new board members still proposed to terminate his contract, effective on Friday…

9Wants to Know found he and other managers had expenses like:

• $892 spent on new rims for the District Manager’s Yukon Denali
• Among dozens of car washes, sometimes several in a week, $560 was spent on a detail job for the District Manager’s Yukon Denali
• $6,000 spent on 127 lunch meetings attended by water managers, consultants and lawmakers at places like the Brown Palace Hotel.
• $20,000 spent on trips to Las Vegas, Florida and Washington D.C. for conferences
• $1,925 paid to marketing consultants to write board member bios

Jaeger defended those expenses as the cost of doing business and keeping up a clean image for the water utility.

I wonder if Mr. Jaeger still plans to be the driving force behind the Colorado Wyoming Coalition’s version of the Flaming Gorge Pipeline?

More Parker coverage here and here.

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