Adopt the resolution approving the proposed Employment Agreement between the City of Leesburg and Jay Evans, as City Manager.
At a previous meeting, the City Commission voted to enter into negotiations with Jay Evans to take the post of City Manager on a permanent basis. I was directed to negotiate with him toward that end, with a salary range of from $131,000.00 to $145,000.00 annually. The Commission also directed that the severance package be less than provided to the former City Manager.
Two versions of the newly negotiated contract are attached, along with a summary of the material provisions of the contract. Both are for an initial term of three years at a salary of $135,000.00. The two differ in only one respect. In keeping with the Commission’s directive I had proposed a number of changes to the contract Mr. Evans initially proposed, one of which was to lower the severance period from six to three months. Mr. Evans accepted all proposed changes except for that one and wanted to make his case to the Commission for the six month severance period. Both severance provisions include one additional benefit not part of Mr. Stock’s contract, which is a continuation of individual health coverage for the severance period (either three or six months as you determine) or until he is covered by another group plan.
There are a number of differences between this contract and the one with the previous City Manager. For example, while Mr. Stock was on suspension with pay the City had to pay for his attendance at a conference, civic club memberships, and other perquisites. Mr. Evans’ contract would absolve the City from paying expense reimbursements, dues, subscriptions, conference attendance expenses and other such items at any time Mr. Evans was on suspension (with or without pay), after he tenders his resignation, or after he has been notified of his termination.
Termination for cause in Mr. Stock’s contract required a super – majority vote (four out of five Commissioners) whereas Mr. Evans’ requires only a majority vote. There is also a provision allowing the City Commission to proceed with his annual evaluation if he does not negotiate the criteria for the evaluation, to avoid the sort of stalemate which arose with Mr. Stock when he declined to discuss the criteria for his evaluation yet insisted he could not be evaluated without mutual agreement as to the process and criteria.
Overall this is a more favorable contract for the City than Mr. Stock’s and in some material respects removes benefits tailored for Mr. Stock at his request, instead treating Mr. Evans in those areas as the City treats all its other full – time employees. The main question to be decided is the length of the severance period.
1. Approve the contract I proposed with the three month severance period,
2. Approve Mr. Evans’ requested contract with the six month severance period,
3. Approve a middle ground such as a four month severance and direct me to modify the document accordingly, or
4. Direct us to negotiate further as to any other term or condition you deem unacceptable.
According to Interim Finance Director Jerry Boop, $131,955.00 was budgeted for the City Manager’s salary for the 2007 –2008 fiscal year. Thus some adjustment to the budget will be required to accommodate the proposed salary. Other items such as benefits and expense reimbursements should have no fiscal impact since Mr. Evans is already a City employee receiving benefits as such, and the expense reimbursement and other additional benefits under the contract were also part of the prior City Manager’s contract and thus would not add to the amount previously being expended for those purposes.
Department: City Attorney
Prepared by: Fred Morrison
Attachments: Yes__X__ No ______
Advertised: ____Not Required ______
Reviewed by: Dept. Head ________
Finance Dept. __________________
Deputy C.M. ___________________
City Manager ___________________
Account No. _________________
Project No. ___________________
WF No. ______________________
JAY EVANS CONTRACT SUMMARY
TERM: Three years or at pleasure of City Commission subject to severance provisions (see below)
SALARY: $135,000.00 annually
RAISES: If evaluation meets or exceeds expectations, annual raises at rate equal to what is offered other full – time employees whose performance meets expectations. City Commission has discretion to provide additional raises based on performance, market comparison or other factors.
Major medical/hospitalization, prescription, life, accidental death/dismemberment and other coverage as provided to all other full – time employees with Employee to pay for dependent coverage as provided for all other full – time employees.
Same PTO as for other employees. Accrued PTO prior to effective date of contract to carry over unaffected.
In lieu of a vehicle the City will pay an auto allowance of $450.00 per month for Employee to use his own vehicle within Lake County, and travel outside Lake County to be compensated at IRS rate per mile.
City to pay civic club membership not to exceed $750.00 per fiscal year. Business expenses to be reimbursed up to $200.00 per month upon presentation of expense voucher in accordance with reimbursement policies applicable to all City employees. Also payment of dues, subscriptions and expenses related to annual conference attendance and training seminars for job related professional training including ICMA and Florida City/County Management Association. No reimbursement of expenses will be payable for any time Employee is on suspension with or without pay, after tendering resignation, or being notified of termination.
Retirement benefits payable consistent with those provided to regular full – time employees, but paid to ICMA (International City Managers Association) retirement fund.
TERMINATION WITH CAUSE:
Termination by a majority vote of City Commission, with prior written notice at least five days prior to Commission meeting. “Cause” is conviction of a felony, a crime involving moral turpitude or dishonesty, misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance, or breach of the contract. Employee entitled only to payment of accrued benefits available to any other employees.
TERMINATION WITHOUT CAUSE:
By a majority vote of City Commission with notice in writing at least five days before meeting, from a Commissioner or City Attorney. Severance benefits requested by Employee are six months of base salary payable within fifteen days after termination, along with unused Long Term Bank and PTO. Health insurance on Employee to continue for six months or until covered by another group plan, whichever first occurs, Employee may optionally continue paying for dependent coverage. No other benefits payable including retirement contributions after termination date.
The alternative draft pays the same severance benefits but only for a three month period as to base salary and health insurance coverage.
Events treated as termination without cause, other than actual termination, are resignation at formal request of City Commission, and change in laws, charter or ordinances which substantially change City’s form of government such that Employee’s duties and authority are substantially reduced, or another material, adverse effect results.
Requires written notice at least thirty days prior to effective date unless otherwise agreed. Employee entitled to payout of accrued benefits in same manner as other employees.
Annually in August. Process, form and criteria to be mutually agreed on but if Employee refuses to negotiate the form and process, City Commission may proceed with evaluation based on its own criteria.
City to indemnify Employee against suits arising from performance of his duties in his official capacity with this indemnity to survive resignation or termination for so long as any action pending at time of resignation or termination remains in existence.
BONDING: City to pay costs of any required fidelity bonds.
Must reside within Utility Service Area (may be water, wastewater, reuse, natural gas, or electric.
As of October 1, 2007.
October 22, 2007
In your review of the proposed Employment Agreement for City Manager, I hope you will find that the terms therein are in keeping with your preference to avoid a “golden parachute” package for your next manager. I have proposed a salary at the lower end of your range, and where appropriate, I have asked for the same benefits as are afforded other employees of the City. I do not seek to secure special privilege for myself or my family, and have not approached the contract in that manner.
Separations such as Mr. Stock’s, and most recently the City Manager of Winter Park, do the industry a disservice and only serve to increase the perception that management contracts are too gratuitous. In certain cases, I definitely agree. Having said this, I do ask you to strongly consider the very unique employment circumstances that exist for City Managers, and the reason that severance packages are part of the arrangement.
A City Manager’s fate can be decided with absolutely no regard for performance. By a mere majority vote, the manager is without a job, suddenly needing to provide for their family and almost always having to relocate. While a similar fate (an untimely and unexpected separation independent of performance or downsizing) may also befall someone in the private sector, for City Managers it is a regular occurrence. In no other profession does someone who is unhappy with corporate decisions so easily become a member of the Board of Directors. If such were the case, I’d have fired the CEO of several technology companies long ago.
City Managers must be highly accountable to the people. That is crucial for the Council/Manager form of government to work. With that imperative comes a personal financial exposure that most educated and talented professionals would not accept without some protection. Thus, a quid pro quo has developed. Managers accept the precarious nature of their employment along with the guarantees afforded in their contracts. The severance is an acknowledgement of the political nature of their employment and a little insurance policy to get them by if the politics turn sour.
I do not desire to enrich my future at the expense of Leesburg in the event of a separation. However, I must look out for my family and consider the potential financial hardship that could result even with excellent performance. Six months’ severance is the industry standard, and is what is provided for the managers of Lake County, Clermont, Mascotte, Eustis, and Tavares. Tavares then adds one month for each year of service, up to a maximum of 12. Groveland provides 12 months. Umatilla provides only 3 months of severance, but a super-majority vote is required to terminate. Mt. Dora provides 3 months, but adds one month for each year of service up to a maximum of 6 months. The Fruitland Park manager has a retirement from elsewhere, and only has a 1 year contract and 1 month of severance.
Please note that many of these cities hired their managers with no more knowledge of them than their resume and an interview or two. I have served the City for three years, and have always “exceeded expectations” on my evaluations. When I came to Leesburg, I had the strong endorsement of both mayors for whom I served as the Manager in Oakland, Florida, even though they wished to retain me. I believe you have a known quantity on your hands with a record of outstanding performance, and are experiencing less risk than hiring a manager cold. For these reasons, I would hope you will find a flat six month severance is reasonable and appropriate.
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA, AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE MAYOR AND CITY CLERK TO EXECUTE AN EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY OF LEESBURG AND JAY M. EVANS FOR THE PURPOSE OF SETTING FORTH THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH MR. EVANS WILL SERVE AS LEESBURG'S CITY MANAGER; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA:
THAT the Mayor and City Clerk are hereby authorized and directed to execute an Employment Agreement between the City of Leesburg and Jay M. Evans, for the purpose of setting forth the terms and conditions under which Mr. Evans will serve as Leesburg's city manager.
THIS RESOLUTION shall take effect upon its passage and adoption according to law.
PASSED AND ADOPTED at the regular meeting of the City Commission of the City of Leesburg, Florida, held on the 22nd day of October , 2007.
THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA