Seattle City Light—a publically owned utility company—has a public image problem. So, to combat all the “negative press” directed its way, the company hired Brand.com—an “online reputation-management” company that promises to “drown out critical stories in search results and replace them with happier items.”
Why does a city-owned utility company need an “online reputation-management” company? Seattle City Light insists that it is to “strengthen City Light’s reputation… as the nation’s greenest utility.” However, given recent events, saving the reputation of its darling chief executive officer appear to now be priority number one.
Jorge Carrasco—CEO of Seattle City Light—has been the primary target of all the “negative press.” Why? Here is the short list of the most recent events that may have led to the general dislike of Carrasco.
- Carrasco is the highest paid city employee, earning a whopping $245,000 per year. Yet, since Seattle passed the $15 minimum wage, Carrasco will receive a pay boost.
- The pay boost is an additional $120,000 per year.
- On top of the additional $120,000 per year, Carrasco’s pay hike will be applied retroactive to January 2014—that’s as much as $50,000 of back month pay.
So, how much will Seattle City Light pay for the services of Brand.com? The Seattle Times reports that two contracts—one signed in October and the other in February—“together authorized $47,500 for services through the end of this year.”
The Seattle City Council is scheduled to vote on Carrasco’s pay raise today.
Let us know what you think of Seattle City Light’s public image.