published Sunday, October 9th, 2011

Paul Page still eligible for $12,000 a year pension from Chattanooga

  • photo
    Paul Page, Chattanooga's director of general services


Paul Page’s highest three calendar years of pay

• 2008: $97,288.76*

• 2009: $95,594.46

• 2010: $95,844.46

• The city operates on a two-week pay cycle. In 2008, there were 27 pay periods rather than the usual 26.

Source: Chattanooga personnel records

The city will pay former General Services Director Paul Page nearly $12,000 a year for the rest of his life even though he retired after a federal finding that he sexually harassed one employee and was disciplined for harassing another.

Page worked for the city for six years and was vested in its General Pension Fund automatically after five years. He’s eligible for $11,549 annually, or $962 a month, based on his highest three earnings years. Those were 2008-10.

Even if Page had been fired, his benefits would not have been affected, said Doug Kelley, the city’s personnel records specialist.

“That has no effect on your general pension or your eligibility for benefits,” Kelley said.

Employees 62 and older can retire at any point.

“Mr. Page was in that group,” said Kelley.

Page came under fire in recent weeks after the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that he harassed an employee in October 2008 and the city subsequently retaliated against her.

A second woman filed a sexual harassment complaint against Page in November 2008. In that incident, Page was disciplined with five unpaid days off.

Page has denied any wrongdoing.

The city requests that employees give a two-week notice before retiring. Page hand-delivered his retirement notice, effective immediately, on Oct. 4.

Page’s failure to give notice also doesn’t affect his pension or benefits, Kelley said.

For each year of service, Page will receive 2 percent of the average of his highest three years’ salary for each month of service. Because Page accrued six years of service, his rate will be 12 percent.

Page was hired in July 2005 as the city’s director of asset management at a salary of $80,159, said Richard Beeland, city spokesman. Mayor Ron Littlefield served as a reference when Page applied for the job.

Later, Littlefield created the position of director of general services and the mayor appointed Page to the post on July 1, 2006, at a salary of $90,990.

Page received a raise in January to an annual rate of $98,462.25, Beeland said.

This year’s increase does not affect his pension, Kelley said.

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about Ansley Haman...

Ansley Haman covers Hamilton County government. A native of Spring City, Tenn., she grew up reading the Chattanooga Times and Chattanooga Free Press, which sparked her passion for journalism. Ansley's happy to be home after a decade of adventures in more than 20 countries and 40 states. She gathered stories while living, working and studying in Swansea, Wales, Cape Town, South Africa, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn. Along the way, she interned for ...

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NoMyth said...

What does a Director of General Services actually do? How does the mayor create a 100k position for a friend? Did the city council review and approve this new taxpayer funded position? With the position being vacated by Page's departure, why is the position being eliminated? Again what is the purpose/need/value of this position that justifies paying Page 12k/year for life?

October 9, 2011 at 12:36 a.m.
Loyaljeeper said...

Is this the stapler guy from Office Space? He'll burn the building down.

October 9, 2011 at 12:48 a.m.
5v5 said...





October 9, 2011 at 7:07 a.m.
deputydawg said...

just another waste of tax money by mayor littlefield

October 9, 2011 at 7:25 a.m.
patriot1 said...

It's good to know we take care of our "public servants"

October 9, 2011 at 7:39 a.m.
Legend said...

deputydawg said... just another waste of tax money by mayor littlefield

Was the position created by Mayor Littlefield? Or was the position a city government position all along? If the latter, then how is the present mayor's fault?

October 9, 2011 at 9:36 a.m.
holdout said...

Yes it was created by Littlefield

October 9, 2011 at 9:47 a.m.
Legend said...

holdout said... Yes it was created by Littlefield

OK__Now the next Q is, what positions were created by past mayors? And do they remain in effect? If so, why aren't those positions being attacked?

October 9, 2011 at 9:52 a.m.
hotdiggity said...

But, but he had a contract, which is sacred here in America. We must honor our contracts. Unless of course it is contracts with our teachers, policemen, firemen, etc. These are open to negotiation or revocation even if they have given their best, performed a vital social service, and not been accused of breaking the law.

October 9, 2011 at 10:31 a.m.
fairmon said...

Does the pension formula after a typical 40 year career result in receiving 80% of the average 3 best years plus health care for the rest of your life? No wonder people seek and cling to elected positions. Most voters thought they were seeking office to "give something back" we dumb arses thought they were serving "for the greater good" but failed to detect it was for their own greater good. Is it time for tax payers to know what the unfunded future ,therefore tax payer, liability is?

October 9, 2011 at 11:30 a.m.
NoMyth said...
<p>@harp3339...well-stated...the pension benefit system described in this article is waaaaayyyyyy better than anything available in the private sector. And, as everyone knows, virtually none of these public jobs are stressful or require overtime. This underscores the need to outsource most government functions...taxpayers should not pay for low quality and high cost personnel. Look up a story about Nassau County, NY, bus system. They finally became so fed up with the public employees that they are outsourcing the whole thing in 2012. It is a guarantee that they will have improved service and tens of millions in savings per year for taxpayers.

October 9, 2011 at 1:38 p.m.
NoMyth said...

@payingattention, thanks for the followup. I was not lumping police or emergency services in with my characterization of most public deskjockeys. However, please explain your comment that emergency services work a ton of overtime and don't get paid for it. If anything, I have read many, many, many, many stories of police and emergency services personnel receiving overtime for work not performed. In many cities, emergency services personnel double or triple their base salary by receiving generous overtime.

October 9, 2011 at 3:39 p.m.
lanaland said...

It cries out for pension reform that Page only worked for the city 6 years, yet will be getting $12,000 a year for the rest of his life. The mayor's cabinet should be considered temporary employees in many cases, since the next mayor is going to bring in his or her own crew. Also, quite a few of the members of the city's top brass make much more than Page's $98k salary. Many of whom have been getting periodic raises of 20-70% in one year. They'll be able to thank us taxpayers for $12k a year or more, even if they're not kept on by the next administration. Do you feel a tax increase coming on? Meanwhile, the rest of the city's employees, firemen, policemen, office workers, etc., get only cost-of-living increases or nothing. About 500 of the city's rank and file workers are part timers and temps who aren't eligible for pensions at all. Who says government jobs aren't profitable:

October 9, 2011 at 3:42 p.m.
amnestiUSAF84 said...

hotdiggity said... But, but he had a contract, which is sacred here in America. We must honor our contracts. Unless of course it is contracts with our teachers, policemen, firemen, etc.

Not so, hotdiggity. If Page was a cop or fireman he'd still be on the job. They'd be defending him, and working overtime to hide that other personnel file. You know, the bad one. Especially if he was well liked and considered a team player. dontcha know how it works by now?

October 9, 2011 at 4:22 p.m.
fedup350 said...

I think Legend is really Richard Beeland. Who else in the whole city would defend someone as rotten and crooked and corrupt and ron littlefield?

October 9, 2011 at 4:24 p.m.
dennis said...

I think it is time for the TBI or the FBI to start looking into whats going on in city hall. I think that if they would take a serious look, some of the ones in city goverment would not retire on the backs of the city tax payers. There would be some that we would have to help support while they were inmates at one of our state prisons but look at it this way, at least they would get retirement benifits for the rest of their lives. But we all know that that's no going to happen. To many good old crooked boy's in city hall.

October 9, 2011 at 4:40 p.m.
fedup350 said...

amnestiUSAF84 you are really a first class bona fide idiot. Only a moron like you could turn this into a hate filled tirade against the fire and police.

October 9, 2011 at 4:42 p.m.
fedup350 said...

It is unbelievable that Littlefield and some of his cronies (certain city council members) haven’t been indicted on racketeering or some other similar charge yet.

October 9, 2011 at 4:47 p.m.
fairmon said...

What is the purpose or providing a pension? To attract and retain people for an entire career. This position, the mayor, AEC, council members and other elected positions and their staff that serve at the pleasure of the elected official should not be pension eligible. These are not career jobs. However, since the approvers are also the beneficiaries of the liberal policy the tax payer is not well represented in this matter.

Does anyone have any idea or how to find out what the future employees benefits liability is and how much of it is currently unfunded? Anyone know what the total bonds obligation is and when they become due? I suspect we can expect a mind numbing tax increase in the not too distant future.

October 9, 2011 at 4:47 p.m.
fedup350 said...

Paying attention - you are the most informed and fair poster on here. I don’t always agree with you but I always consider what you have to say. Keep up the good posting!!

October 9, 2011 at 4:50 p.m.
fedup350 said...

I can just see amnestiUSAF84 sitting there at his keyboard racking his little pea brain trying to figure out a way to make this a racial issue......

October 9, 2011 at 4:57 p.m.
biofish said...

You people do know that it was his money in the pension program.. right? HE PAYED IT. It came out of his check ... but now YOU have a right to say how it is returned? .. and somehow it is the police and fire's fault?.. You people are soo stupid.

October 9, 2011 at 6:25 p.m.
lanaland said...

Do you really expect us to believe he paid enough into the pension program -- in just 6 years -- to earn $12k a year for what could be the next 20-50 years?

October 9, 2011 at 6:57 p.m.
amnestiUSAF84 said...

fedup350 said... I can just see amnestiUSAF84 sitting there at his keyboard racking his little pea brain trying to figure out a way to make this a racial issue......

LOL!! Wep!! You did it for the rest of us, you *pea brain& you!! Ha! ha!! U_be_so_funny!

October 9, 2011 at 7:25 p.m.
amnestiUSAF84 said...

fedup350 said... amnestiUSAF84 you are really a first class bona fide idiot. Only a moron like you could turn this into a hate filled tirade against the fire and police.

Now! Now, fedup350. I must have hit a serious nerve. Then you want to stoop to name calling. The stuff of small minded people who have nothing to contribute. Tsk! Tsk!

October 9, 2011 at 7:28 p.m.
amnestiUSAF84 said...

payingattention said... Biofish. The City matches retirement contributions

That happens in the private employment sector too. In fact, every job I've every had where there's a retirement plan, be it private employer or government employer, employee retirement contribution was matached by the employer and government.

October 9, 2011 at 8:33 p.m.
biofish said...

Yes, I can call people stupid because i work for the city and know how it works. Is it unfair?.. yes. I think he should not be vested in that short amount of time. However, it was a contract BEFORE he even took the position. However much i hate the guy and his perverted self, you don't take something away from someone when it was promised just because you don't want to do it anymore. If you don't like the pension program, work on changing it, don't attack those who paid into it. I am not standing up for him, but the 1000's of others who have absolutely nothing to survive on but that pension. They don't make 93,000 a year, but the % of contribution is the same. If he contributed 9% for 6 years, it could EASILY be invested and return $12000/year. It isn't costing you any more than another city worker.

October 9, 2011 at 8:37 p.m.
biofish said...

The stupid comment is in response to the anti-pension comments and just plain ignorant posts.. If you were not party to that then you have my apology..

October 10, 2011 at 12:26 a.m.
lanaland said...

The City Council will ultimately determine how to respond to the federal retaliation charges. They may serve one term or more, thus are in many cases are temps. They are only part time employees, making about $24k a year, not including the cost of their meals, travel, rentals, expenses, etc. Do they get a pension after 5 years too, which is something most of the city's approximately 500 temps and part timers don't?

October 10, 2011 at 12:11 p.m.
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