MARCO ISLAND — Marco Island City Council will consider a contract with interim City Manager Jim Riviere on Monday evening to include an annual salary of $150,000.
The salary is the minimum in previously advertised descriptions for the position. Riviere also waived all benefits, which have a value of about $50,000.
The contract was negotiated by Chairman Frank Recker and Riviere this week.
“I wanted to give them a bargain,” said Riviere.
Previous City Manager Steve Thompson, who was fired earlier this month, earned $160,000 annually and took the cash equivalent of the city’s benefit package, bringing his total cash earnings before taxes to about $220,000, not including his monthly car and cell phone allowances.
“I just wanted it to be low. I took Steve Thompson’s contract and deleted all the things that didn’t apply,” said Riviere, who already has secured his own health benefits.
The contract also allows Riviere to receive $500 monthly for a vehicle allowance and for a city-paid cell phone.
The contract may be good for one year, although in correspondence with council, attorney Alan Gabriel, of the Ft. Lauderdale-based law firm, Weiss-Serota, which represents the city, advised that the City Charter does not seem to allow for a time frame of employment for the city manager.
Initially, council was also to create a job description and planned process for securing the long-term city manager during a workshop at 2:30 p.m., on Monday. However, that workshop was canceled as of Thursday evening. Riviere said the city is not quite ready to embark on the search for his replacement.
He added that he would not consider taking the job long term.
“Around here, long term doesn’t seem to be very long term, does it?” Riviere asked rhetorically and smiled.
The recent changes in management have added up to a significant payout in severance. Thompson’s severance was about $175,000 and Community Development Director Steve Olmsted’s severance is about $35,000. Olmsted was discharged and his position removed indefinitely on Tuesday.
Marco Island Taxpayers’ Association board member Amadeo Petricca described the costs as a necessary evil that he didn’t think were overly burdensome for city taxpayers.
“You’re at the juncture where something has to be done. Unfortunately, there’s a price to pay. We have to bite the bullet,” Petricca said.
The proposed salary for Riviere seems fair, he added.
“It’s the market price we have here on Marco Island,” Petricca said.
The City Council meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. on Monday in the Community Room, 51 Bald Eagle Drive. Other issues on the agenda include:
- A discussion on the current ordinance allowing construction on vacant lots in residential neighborhoods for up to 120 days per year, particularly for seawall construction. Although the rules require lot owner approval, city officials have said that there has been some inconvenience to neighbors caused as the construction takes longer than anticipated in some cases.
-A discussion, likely at the end of the evening, about how and when to begin the search for the permanent city manager.
- Appointments to numerous boards and committees, including the Community Redevelopment Agency advisory committee.
-A presentation from Collier County Director of Emergency Services Dan Summers on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
-Other issues on the agenda and supporting documents may be found in related links below.