Hogencamp booted from City Hall - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hogencamp booted from City Hall

Hogencamp spoke to the media outside his home Thursday evening. Hogencamp spoke to the media outside his home Thursday evening.
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March 24, 2006

Assistant City Manager Kevin Hogencamp, who announced his resignation Tuesday, was told to pack up and leave Thursday. The reason? Hogencamp is outspoken and critical of the way the city manager gave out performance pay bonuses.

When Hogencamp turned in his resignation Tuesday, he was pretty quiet about why. But now that he's been forced out early, he reveals some of his problems with the city and it's management. He feels his leaving is a stand against much bigger city problems.

After more than six years with the city of Albany, Hogencamp wheeled two boxes from his office Thursday evening. "We shook hands and I wished him well," says City Manager Alfred Lott. Even though the elevator doors are closing for the last time, Hogencamp still has open issues with the city.

"Nothing was done," says Hogencamp.

Hogencamp says he's received numerous complaints from city employees and department directors about one thing, city bonuses. "Precisely, that was the icing on the cake, the bonus issue," says Hogencamp. It was that icing that caused him to resign. It was an e-mail and a subsequent meeting with his boss that sped things along.

"The meeting began with his announcement that he was disappointed that I sent him an email yesterday clarifying the reason for my resignation Tuesday and that I filed an open-records request today," says Hogencamp.

The open-records request asks for a list of all city employees who received bonuses for their 2005 performance, records that explain why certain departments were treated differently in the performance pay initiative and a copy of all 2005 performance appraisals. "I'm not upset about that. That's his right as a citizen of Albany, Georgia to ask for anything he likes," says Lott.

Lott says he was made aware of Hogencamp's concerns and they had philosophical differences of opinion on the matter. "As far as I'm concerned, the merit bonus implementation is over and we're moving forward to a newer performance evaluation system," says Lott.

For now, Hogencamp is taking a stand for those he feels haven't rightly received bonuses based on that system. "It may have been an oversight initially but then there was an opportunity to do the right thing and there's been a deliberate decision not to," says Hogencamp.

"I think what's best for the city of Albany is for him to go ahead and move forward with his life and we move forward with our mission," says Lott.

The now former assistant city manager's mission is to bring to light the number of employees he feels were left in the dark. "I'm going to try and do very little talking and let the public record speak for itself," says Hogencamp.

But it's a mission that came with a price.

In his email to Alfred Lott Wednesday, Hogencamp wrote, "People's lives are adversely affected by this conscious and, as you describe it, irreversible decision not to swallow your pride and do the right thing. I hope my resignation demonstrates the magnitude of these and other decisions that are contrary to good governance."

Lott says the old performance pay initiative wasn't perfect but the city is initiating a new system that would integrate the performance and payroll system to fairly give outstanding employees merit increases in the future.

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