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Deile to negotiate manager’s contract draft

By Staff | Jun 14, 2010

Councilmember Bill Deile will negotiate the contract with Cape Coral’s manager designee, council decided Monday, but not before the dais dissolved into heated debate about last week’s selection of Gary King.
Councilmember Kevin McGrail asked King to clarify how much money he donated to Mayor John Sullivan’s campaign efforts last year.
McGrail said he’s received messages from residents claiming King donated more than the $25 he reported when asked during the interview process about previous political activity.
McGrail said it was important for the city, and the council, to move forward, regardless of the public perception of King’s appointment, but added he would have difficulty doing so unless King addresses those concerns.
“Until I get the answers, I’m going to have trouble supporting the contract at any price,” McGrail said.
Mayor John Sullivan said he was unaware of how much money King donated specifically, but said all campaign financial statements are public record.
“I never kept control of the money, I don’t know who gave what,” Sullivan said, adding, “My vote can’t be bought, let alone for $25 … I can’t be bought for 25 or any amount.”
King’s exact role in the “Contract with Cape Coral”, and to some extent, the “Road Ahead” group also was called into question by McGrail.
Five of the sitting council members have signed or support the contract, and while King admitted some involvement, denied being a key player in the development of that document when he was interviewed last week for the city manager position.
Mayor John Sullivan, and council members Chris Chulakes-Leetz, Pete Brandt, Bill Deile, and Erick Kuehn have signed or stated they support the contract.
Pete Brandt said Monday he and King were members of several local organizations, including the Republican’s Club and the Elks Club, but said he didn’t feel he was closely linked with King.
“We see each other socially, on occasion, at the Elks club… I don’t think those are associations,” Brandt said.
As far as the employment contract is concerned, it was decided Deile and King would hammer out the details during the council’s hiatus.
Council then will vote on the contract when they return from hiatus during a special meeting on July 19, prior to their workshop.
How the contract will shake out is unknown, but ideas such as performance based pay, a limited term, and no take home vehicle were all tossed around.
Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz said he would support a two-year contractual term, as 24 months is sufficient to judge how effective King is as a city manager.
He said, too, that a 24-month contract would take out the “political gamesmanship” of King’s appointment when elections roll around next year.
“I think to be judged after 24 months is a fair and reasonable expectation,” Chulakes-Leetz said.
Gary King declined comment.
Council meets again on July 19 at 4:30 p.m. for its special meeting, and then at 5:30 p.m. on the same day for its workshop.
Also, Councilmember Erick Keuhn was absent from a portion of Monday’s meeting. He is dealing with a health issue.