We assume that Amanda Mika, longtime executive assistant to Warren's mayor, fully deserves $76,569 a year. After all, she has worked for the city since being hired as a clerical assistant in 2003 and earned two Wayne State degrees, including an urban planning master's.
So what else might possibly explain raises exceeding $36,000 in eight years?
"The 91.4-percent pay hike is far above what most city employees have received during the same period," investigative bulldog Steve Neavling posts at Metro Times.
In fact, city workers endured wage freezes and received modest pay hikes while the 32-year-old's salary increased every year since at least 2014
He draws a chain of dots that may connect:
Mika’s tax-funded salary has nearly doubled since she was caught on video holding hands [in 2012] with her much older boss, Warren Mayor Jim Fouts. . . .
The pair has taken a trip to Washington, D.C., for a mayors' conference and attended the Auto Show Charity Preview gala together [two months ago]. . . .
Fouts has denied wrongdoing and even insisted he and Mika are not in a romantic relationship.
The mayor, 76, first was was elected in 2007 after 26 years on the city council.
His executive assistant lays out her duties on LinkedIn and at a personal site:
Primary responsibilities are to manage the operations and administrative tasks as they pertain to the Office of the Mayor of Warren.
In addition, Amanda H. Mika is responsible for the implementation of operational tasks, such as preparing the agendas for all City Council, managing operational and staffing requirements, and coordinating all internal and external communications.
A capstone of her tenure with the Mayor’s Office is the planning and implementation of the Mayor’s strategies to meet the City’s strategic goals of maintaining a safe, clean, and more efficient Warren.
Her WordPress page also has six portraits in a "glamor gallery" style.
At MT, Neavling drops this context:
In case Fouts doesn’t win another term in the November election, Mika will still have a job after a suspicious employment move.
In September 2016, she took a job as an assistant planner in the Planning Department for six months – just long enough to get union protection. If she loses her job in the mayor’s office, she can return to her civil service job.
Sweet gig, whatever is or isn't going on.