Shimkus wants action to protect those who wish to serve in public office
The story of Belleair Bluffs city commissioner Taylour Shimkus and her former employer PNC Bank is, to say the least, is both interesting and in many ways complicated. So, as is the case with all good stories let’s start at the beginning.<
In a long-ranging conversation that you can listen to below Ms. Shimkus, is proud to serve as a member of the Belleair Bluffs city commission. Lest you think that this is a job that one will use to launch a political career, it is highly unlikely, at the pay rate of $400.00 per month, as my mother would say “Don’t quit your day job.”
It is a job you run and get elected for because you want to serve your community. In the case of the lovely Pinellas County hamlet, it has a population of around 2,500 residents and covers less than a mile. There are malls and office buildings in the Tampa Bay area with a larger population than Belleair Bluffs.
There are no Democrats or Republicans on the council it a totally nonpartisan position. The goal to maintain and enhance the quality of life for residents of this lovely area and to that end Shimkus has done an outstanding job serving her constituents.
So, that brings us to how did a stay at home mom who took an opportunity to rejoin the workforce with one of the countries most respected banking firms end up having to choose between keeping job serving her community or working at PNC?
Shimkus, whose resume clearly stated that she was an active member of the Belleair Bluffs city commission, passed the online application process, was interviewed by PNC bank officials and was offered then accepted the job that included training in Chicago.
She returned to Belleair Bluffs where she worked at home as a proud member of the PNC team while at the same time keeping her job with the commission. Until about three months into the job, she began to get calls from the corporate office telling her that there was a policy that PNC had that banned her from holding public office while working at the bank.
So, Shimkus who applied online, met with bank officials was hired, trained by PNC in Chicago, worked for almost four months for the bank is just now hearing about a rule that somehow, someway a person in Human Resources missed?
In writing this story I did reach out to PNC for response and their corporate communications did respond in a timely manner with the following:
PNC has a policy that is consistently followed, requiring that the outside activities of employees not interfere with PNC’s ability to conduct current or future business.
There is a lack of clarity in the response as to how Shimkus work on the commission might interfere with PNC’s ability to do business.
But Shimkus is moving on and her goal is get a bill passed in Tallahassee that that protects elected officials from discrimination and from being released from employment for the “mere fact they serve their community. As of today 17 states has this law on the books and Shimkus wants Florida to be number 18.
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