Workers at La-Z-Boy Neosho won't be getting their annual pay raises this month as expected, but if they work real hard they may get a few extra dollars later on.
That was the message in the letter sent to company employees.
I'm sure they will be glad to hear that the policy doesn't apply to everyone under the La-Z-Boy umbrella. While workers in Neosho do not receive a cost-of-living increase, company CEO Kurt Darrow will have no trouble making ends meet.
According to the company's proxy report, filed July 2, 2004, with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, Darrow will receive the following compensation: $491,321 in salary, $209,425 in bonus, and $76,806 in other compensation (not defined), for a total of close to $800,000.
The proxy report indicates that Darrow's salary could have been much higher. The company's Compensation Committee had set up Darrow's plan where he could have made 120 percent of his salary if he had met his goals, which would have increased his salary to more than $1 million.
Darrow wasn't the only CEO being paid a large amount by La-Z-Boy during the 2004 fiscal year, according to the proxy report.
While La-Z-Boy Neosho workers are continuing to work for the same amount and a vague hope of a few extra dollars somewhere along the line when unspecified goals are met, former CEO Gerald Kiser will receive approximately a 425,000 of a severance and consulting agreement with the company. Kiser was given a $100,000 lump sum payment when he "retired", then under his agreement with the company was to receive $500,000 in 20 installment payments. He will also continue to receive health benefits and life insurance for two years. He will also continue to be reimbursed for his office, phone and financial service expenses for one year, according to the proxy report.
In addition to Darrow and Kiser, other La-Z-Boy executives who pulled down more than a half a million dollars last year, the report said, included Patrick Norton, chairman of the board, $686,934; Rodney E. England, senior vice president, $519,700: and John Case, senior vice president, $585,200.
Undoubtedly, the problems facing La-Z-Boy management that caused it to withhold salary increases for Neosho workers are great, but Darrow's statements in the company's annual report indicate it is nothing he can't handle.
Fortunately, La-Z-Boy Neosho doesn't fall into this category, but he had no qualms with the methods used to bring the company's casegoods section into line. "Although we are encouraged by the progress being made in improving our casegoods volume, we continue to work through a challenging time as we transition our business model from primarily a domestic manufacturer to being an importer, marketer and distributor of casegoods."
As long as he can find workers in China to improve the bottom line, Kurt Darrow has a strong chance of receiving that 120 percent of salary bonus. And, of course, that is the kind of thinking that is rewarded by the stockholders.
The time has come for Governor Matt Blunt to show us these wonderful business plans submitted by former State Representative Bubs Hohulin and the others who have been selected to operate driver's license fee offices in Missouri.
I am tired of hearing that this is all right because the Democrats did it, too. If Blunt had come out and said he was awarding some lucrative business opportunities to his buddies, no one would have been happy, but it probably would have been accepted.
Instead, the governor bragged about these wonderful business plans and how steps would be taken to improve the offices' services to Missourians. Imagine how many more wonderful business plans could have been submitted if the governor had opened up the process to people other than his former House buddies like Hohulin or anyone related to or otherwise close to U. S. Attorney Todd Graves or his brother U. S. Rep. Sam Graves.
Let's see these business reports and let's make absolutely sure the date they were submitted is authenticated.
Barton County Republicans did not want Bubs Hohulin to be in charge of the county's license office, I am told. They had other suggestions, including people who had actually run successful businesses in the past. Blunt's people were told that, but they said they already had their man selected.
Election advertising helped Nexstar Broadcasting, owner of KSNF and de facto owner of KODE, to a fourth quarter profit, the company announced Friday.
The company earned $741,000 or three cents a share during the fourth quarter of 2004, compared to a loss of $24.4 million in 2003.
But first quarter revenue will be lower, Nexstar officials said, dropping from $54.2 million last year to somewhere between $51.5 and $52.5 million this year.
Matt Blunt's appointments of cronies to operate license bureaus includes one who has had his license taken away from him in the past for drunk driving.
The Feb. 27 St. Louis Post-Dispatch said former State Representative Tom Burcham, R-Farmington, who like Hohulin served in the House with Governor Blunt, was forced out of a reelection race in 2002 after two arrests for drunk driving.
"Governor Matt Blunt is giving the former lawmaker another chance," the Post-Dispatch article said. "Burcham, who has lost his driving privileges in the past, will run a state Department of Revenue fee office. The office issues driver's licenses and license plates, process applications for titles and collects sales taxes on new vehicles and boats. The appointment of Burcham and others to some of the 171 fee offices that are independently run has some Democratic critics complaining about political back-scratching. Many of the often-lucrative offices have been awarded to Blunt's campaign contributors, friends of the Republican Party, or both."