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Cape manager submits incentives pay proposal

By Staff | Aug 11, 2011

City Manager Gary King is proposing $27,500 in incentive pay for himself for the second year of his current contract.

The city manager developed the incentive package, which includes making additional money for bringing in a balanced budget and completing a biosolids initiative, among others.

King, who recently received $17,750 of the $20,000 maximum called for in his previous incentive package, declined comment on the incentives proposal Wednesday.

Councilmember Bill Deile said he had not thoroughly researched the 11 proposed incentives but an early look found an adjustment was needed.

Deile said the total dollar amount proposed by King could be adjusted, depending on whether council decides to approve another incentive package.

“It might be decided having a system where you reward performance is too foreign to government operations,” Deile said. “We may abandon it and address a salary adjustment.”

King also is proposing that he not be penalized should council shift the objectives next year and asks that he receive the full incentive-based compensation called for for a particular objective regardless of how council may choose to assign credit for its success.

“Should council reprioritize, redirect or not approve any of the above initiatives during the next year, then the incentive value will be awarded to the City Manager, unless an alternative initiative and value is substituted by written mutual agreement,” King wrote in the proposed objectives memo dated Monday and sent to all members of council. “Should an objective be met, the City Manager is entitled to the full value of the incentive, regardless of participation by other parties. Objectives that are exceeded may be considered for additional credit in place of other objectives that are not fully met.”

King also wrote in his memo that he would have the incentives on the next council workshop as a discussion item, but said Wednesday it was not going on that agenda.

King’s contract calls for payment of performance incentives in association with performance goals, which King was to present to council no later than 30 days from the anniversary date of his contract.

King came under fire from both the police and fire membership recently when they rejected their union-negotiated contracts, in part, because of $17,750 King previously received in incentive pay.

Cape Coral Professional Fire Fighters Union Local 2424 President Mark Muerth said the newest set of incentives equates to roughly a 6 percent increase in salary for the city manager, while the city’s fire fighters were asked to take a 5 percent total pay decrease.

“It’s a slap in the face to everybody,” Muerth said. “I’m astonished at the arrogance of the city manager and certain members of council. I’ve never seen such a debacle.”

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #33 President Kurt Grau said Wednesday that the city manager’s proposal is “shocking.”

Grau also said that he was informed by the city that since the union failed to ratify the negotiated contract, 11 occupied positions would have to be eliminated.

He said the union is willing to make concessions but it doesn’t appear as if the city wants to work with them.

“It’s going to be difficult to go back to the membership again with this hanging over our heads,” Grau said of King’s proposed incentives.

Although he declined to comment on his incentives proposal, King did say the city and the police bargaining units are set to go back to the negotiating table on Aug. 23.

While King did not address whether additional 11 positions were to be eliminated, he did say there were four options the city could take.

King said the union could reach a concession or conclusion in their approval of the contract; city council had the right to impose furloughs; the situation could move to impasse; or the city could reduce the size of the force.

Councilmember Marty McClain said the city manager has been governing with a “do as I say, not as I do” mentality and that King has neither taken any furlough days, nor substantially had proven he should have received his previous incentive package.

“I find it troubling that a lot of the accomplishments have not been substantiated,” McClain said.

Council members Chris Chulakes-Leetz and Kevin McGrail did not return phone calls for comment by press time Tuesday.