Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Proposed City Manager's Contract(s) - Excerpts and Analysis

The following are excerpts from the two proposed City Manager employment agreements with Interim City Manager Robert Baldwin. These contracts will be discussed in the entirety, one hopes, at the City Commission meeting on 9/26 at 5:30 p.m. It is the last item on the agenda. The two versions represent one that carries a renewal option and one that is only for an initial eight month term, with monthly extensions. The bulk of the agreements are identical, except for some differences related to separation.

Let's look at the sections below and point out some details. Remember, you can click on the images to make them more legible.

The above is the start of the contract with the renewal option showing that the initial period will be eight months and then "automatically renewed" for three years until terminated by either party. Why does this contract have an initial term of eight months to begin with? It sounds to me like the City Manager is hesitant to take the job or has other possibilities that will reveal themselves in eight months or so.

The total compensation totals four cents short of $170,000. It includes a 5% cost of living increase each year and leaves open the possibility for merit increases (more on that later). The contract includes all benefits with no employee contribution, including life insurance at twice the employees salary (!).

For some reason, the contract grants a month worth of vacation and sick time (for both versions, by the way). So, it's foreseeable that the employee could take a month vacation - one-eighth of his time here? And any un-used portion of that time would be compensated at time of termination of the contract(s). He was on vacation about a month ago. Was that paid or un-paid ad part the interim contract? This contract also includes a $600 per month transportation allowance.

This section deals with the severance package - which is equal to a year's salary with all attendant benefits intact. Plus, as indicated, all unused vacation and sick time. Question: How does "executive leave" fit into this equation? What is it?

Now, on to the performance evaluation provisions.

So, as far as the evaluation of the City Manager goes, it would be after a procedure is established for the evaluation that is acceptable to the Commission and the Manager. Then, it would be conducted in individual meetings with the Commissioners and then a report given to the employee - nothing about this being done in a public meeting. This should be a matter of course. He can come and go as he pleases during the day or night. He can also consult at will, while still having Lake Worth be his primary employment. Between the vacation and these provisions, will we be seeing him?? He only needs to establish residency within a year of the first three year extension - "if required by the City Commission".

The above is the introduction to the eight month contract.
This "Final Draft" took four months of negotiation. Commissioner Golden was lead negotiator. I wonder what the first draft looked like!! I don't know where the City is protected here and if we really will have a full time chief executive officer leading the administrative functions of the City. Or, if we will have someone whose loyalties may lie elsewhere.