Ex-manager snags big contracts

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PORTLAND (AP) -- A retired Portland city administrator made more than $22,000 a month last fall after being awarded no-bid contracts with the city and the school district, The Oregonian reported Sunday.

Officials said they generally prefer competitive contracting, but that no one else offered Yvonne Deckard's expertise.

The pay wasn't out of line for specialized work and contracts didn't violate any policies, but the deals raise questions about competition among contractors -- particularly when a former employee is involved.

Deckard, 58, earned the equivalent of $86 hourly when she retired in April as human resources director.

The city then paid her $300 an hour during September-December under a contract whose total was not to exceed $23,000. That amount is just under the city's $23,662 threshold for public notification.

On top of that, the Portland School District agreed to pay Deckard $15,000 a month for six months.

Both contracts were awarded without bidding, and neither explicitly required Deckard to provide any tangible product.

A recent city audit concluded that Portland needs stronger monitoring to prevent contracts with current employees or their family members.