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Politics

New city manager's wish list is plump with perks

By MOLLY MOORHEAD
Published June 13, 2007


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DADE CITY - The early draft of a proposed contract with newly hired City Manager Richard Reade would pay him $85, 000 annually - smack in the middle of the advertised pay range.

But with the numerous perks and reimbursements Reade is seeking, the final figure would total much more than that.

Mayor Hutch Brock on Tuesday presented the City Commission with the first version of the contract he has been negotiating with Reade. The 36-year-old former city manager of Davenport in Polk County was chosen last month to replace outgoing manager Harold Sample.

Brock acknowledged the "sticker shock" of some of Reade's requests.

Key among them:

- An increase to $90, 000 base pay after six months.

- City-paid health insurance coverage for himself, his wife and their soon-to-be-born son. The city now pays premiums for employees only, at a cost of about $335 a month per employee. Reade's family coverage would cost $458 per month.

- Additional life insurance.

- A $400 per month reimbursement for auto expenses, including maintenance, gas and insurance.

- A $100 per month cell phone reimbursement.

- A higher city match into the local retirement plan, which is currently 5 percent below what government employees in the state retirement plan receive.

Reade also wants to be able to continue his development consulting work provided it doesn't conflict with his city job.

Brock did not have a dollar amount for the total compensation package. But the proposed car and phone costs alone add up to $6, 000 a year - which, when coupled with a $90, 000 base salary, put Reade's total pay outside the high end of the $75, 000 to $95, 000 range advertised for the job.

"This is a significant difference" to what past managers have made, Brock said. Sample earns just more than $81, 000 a year.

"Is he worth it? I think so, " Brock added, though he said he didn't necessarily agree with all the provisions.

Commissioner Steve Van Gorden indicated he would hesitate to award Reade any benefits that aren't offered to all employees. He asked for the total cost if all eligible employees were to be given the additional match to their retirement plans.

"If we're going to do it for one, we're going to do it for all, " he said.

The commission will convene a special meeting Tuesday to review the contract line by line.

Molly Moorhead can be reached at 352 521-6521 or moorhead@sptimes.com.

[Last modified June 12, 2007, 22:05:09]


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