Bill Moss can finally start packing up his Marco Island office.
Three weeks after being hired as Naples city manager, City Council voted 4-3 to approve Moss’ contract Wednesday.
But the contract the council approved during Wednesday’s meeting is worth several thousand dollars less than the one Moss and Mayor Bill Barnett negotiated just a few weeks ago.
Council members Penny Taylor, Gary Price and Bill Willkomm cast the dissenting votes.
“I think this is very demoralizing within the city staff,” Taylor said of the original contract. “I cannot support this.”
According to the revised contract, Moss will make $177,000 a year, plus an additional 33 percent of his initial base salary “in lieu of, and as an alternative to, any and all benefits relating to deferred compensation, health and dental insurance, disability insurance and retirement contributions.”
That means Moss will receive an additional $58,410 a year, rather than participating in the city’s benefits program.
The original contract allowed for 38 percent of his base salary in lieu of a city-purchased benefit package. Had the first draft been approved, Moss would have received an additional $67,260 a year.
“I’m getting a little tired of this railroading,” Price said. “We went through this process fairly and (saying we should have) asked about compensation is out of line. We knew the salary range, and I expected his benefit package to (be similar) to other employees.”
According to Human Resources Director Denise Perez, Moss is the only city employee to receive a percentage of his base salary instead of a benefits package.
Community members, along with some members of the council, were outraged with the total potential worth of Moss’ contract.
“This is not a public servant contract,” Naples resident Henry Kennedy said. “It’s worth $500,000 a year.”
In addition to his salary and compensation package, the city has agreed to open a 401(a) retirement plan for Moss. It will give him a $500-a-month travel allowance, a $100-a-month cell phone allowance and pay for membership to professional clubs and associations.
Moss is allowed to do outside consulting work under his contract.
Barnett, who spoke to Moss about the changes during a break in Wednesday’s council meeting, said Moss would accept 33 percent of his salary, not the 30 percent council had asked for earlier in the day.
“He was a little taken aback,” Barnett said of his conversation with Moss. “He wants to be here. He wants to come work for the city of Naples.”
Unlike his predecessors, Moss won’t receive a housing allowance.
Perez said Moss’ contract mirrors the one he currently has on Marco Island.
Moss will replace Bob Lee, who resigned in October to take a graduate faculty position at the Askew School of Public Administration at Florida State University in Tallahassee.
Moss has been Marco Island’s city manager since 1998. Moss is Marco’s first city manager, and makes $161,000 a year on Marco.
Moss is expected to start work in Naples on Jan. 2.