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Council to discuss manager contract Monday

By Staff | Jun 12, 2010

Now that Gary King has been chosen to be Cape Coral’s next city manager, King and the city must hammer out the details of the contract before he can take the job and begin working.
Councilmember Bill Deile said council will discuss those terms on Monday.
The contract then will move into the hands of City Attorney Dolores Menendez, and Human Resources Director Wayne Howard, to finalize the contract with King, Deile said.
All the background checks will be finished during the council’s “district work period.”
It’s unclear, however, as to when the contract would be signed by city council and King would officially take the position.
Mayor John Sullivan said Friday that he didn’t quite know when the final contract document will be available for approval.
While calling a special meeting is a possibility, Sullivan said, it’s still unclear how long it will take to finish the background check.
“I don’t know how long it’s going to take to get that check done,” Sullivan said. “We don’t know what time frame or how much it’s going to take to get that final check done.”
City council is set to go on its “district work period,” or hiatus, following Monday’s meeting.
During that time, at least one council member, Kevin McGrail, will be out of town to attend his daughter’s wedding.
Councilmember Pete Brandt said he’d like to wait to sign the contract until all eight members are available.
Brandt also said he’d like to see the length of the contract be two and half years.
It was discussed during the city manager interviews on Thursday that a short-term, performance-based contract may be a real possibility.
“I’ve got a notion to make it a little longer than that,” Brandt said. “On the other hand, I’d like to see it written in such a way that if for some reason he doesn’t work out, we have the option to make a change if necessary without a penalty.”
Deile, who had suggested the short-term, performance-based contract on Thursday, said the suggested goals would need to be obtainable within the time frame set by that contract.
“I feel some objectives should be hard, but not impossible, to obtain,” Deile said. “If the contract is for eight months to a year, there’s not going to be an objective that’s going to take longer than that.”
Councilmember Kevin McGrail agreed King’s contract should be short term.
He said he would push not to have the contract’s reach extend past next year’s election in case political power shifts on the dais.
“Based on my opinion, the support the newly appointed city manager has is clearly strong from five members, three of which are up for re-election,” McGrail said.
Gary King said he just wants to get to work.
He said he doesn’t anticipate any hang ups in the negotiations process.
He said he will be spending some time at city hall while that process shakes out, introducing himself to department heads, and more importantly, city staff.
He said concern among city staff and morale are two things he wants to address almost immediately.
“The most important thing is to begin to meet and introduce myself among the staff,” King said. “I want to be as calming and supportive as I can, the sooner the better.”
City council meets Monday, 4:30 pm, at city hall for its final scheduled voting meeting before their summer hiatus.