Marco gives interim city manager Jim Riviere permanent job

— Marco Island’s top employee got a one-word title change on Monday night that is to symbolize a new stability in City Hall after four months of many leadership changes.

Interim-City Manager Jim Riviere is to become the city manager effective Tuesday.

“I don’t know if there is such a thing around here, but it says a contract for the permanent city manager,” said Chairman Frank Recker, stressing the word permanent.

Councilman Larry Magel initially said he wanted Riviere to receive incentive compensation, but said he has since changed his mind.

“I believe Mr. Riviere is doing an outstanding job,” Magel said.

However, Riviere said that incentive compensation in the current environment is not something he would encourage or even want due to employees’ salaries being frozen, furloughs being encouraged, as well as several layoffs since late April.

Marco Island City Manager Jim Riviere

Photo by KELLY FARRELL, Staff

Marco Island City Manager Jim Riviere

Riviere eliminated six top management positions in those months as well as moved several directors and employees to different departments. Positions of public information coordinator, community development director, chief of code enforcement, racket center manager and two police lieutenants were removed.

Riviere, the former Planning Board chairman, was appointed by council as interim manager following the dismissal of then-City Manager Steve Thompson in April.

City Manager Steve Thompson gets a hug from his wife Chris on Monday night after council decides in a 4-3 vote to fire Thompson after his two years of service. The decision is effective within 30 days, sooner by Thompson's choice or may be reversed in a call for a hearing by Thompson made within the next five days.

Photo by KELLY FARRELL, Staff

City Manager Steve Thompson gets a hug from his wife Chris on Monday night after council decides in a 4-3 vote to fire Thompson after his two years of service. The decision is effective within 30 days, sooner by Thompson's choice or may be reversed in a call for a hearing by Thompson made within the next five days.

This is Riviere’s first stint in city management. Riviere’s background is primarily that as a business manager, including a consultant and project manager during the Anthrax scare of 2001 at the U.S. Postal Service.

Council voted unanimously, 7-0, to approve a longer-term contract with Riviere as the manager. In an otherwise vocal community, no one from the public spoke on the issue on Monday night.

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Riviere’s compensation is comparable to Thompson’s, except for Riviere’s waiver of health and retirement benefits as well as lack of severance. Thompson received about $175,000 in severance.

The contract includes an annual salary of $150,000, a monthly car allowance of $500, a city-issued cell phone, pay of up to 60 days of unused vacation time upon termination, 30 days notice required if Riviere were to leave and no severance if Riviere is terminated by council. The contract gives Riviere 10 days vacation available immediately and 30 days to accrue over the course of a year.

Initially, Riviere said he wouldn’t want the city manager position long term and was committing only to stay through the budget process this fall.

When asked what made him change his mind, he responded only: “Because seven men asked me to.”

Council, upon a general consensus that was requested by Magel, is to establish specific goals for Riviere to accomplish each quarter or year. Those goals will become the basis for the annual performance review, Magel said.

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Comments » 8

lauralbi1 writes:

Congratulations !!!!!!!!!
Ed Issler

Brillo writes:

Keep up the excellent work! We need someone who can handle the responsiblity in way that you have been doing.

MrBreeze writes:

I think he is doing a good job. I like the cutting of the wasted positions so far but I do not agree with some of the choices that he has made.

I think that the "forclosure" position was a bad choice on his part to create a job for what looks to be a favor.

What Marco Island needs is a manager for the people. This island was being managed poorly and I hope that that will turn around with a new look and a new direction coming out of City Hall.

captnjimbo writes:

Wow...a manager that actually manages!

One year contract?

slowsky writes:

in response to MrBreeze:

I think he is doing a good job. I like the cutting of the wasted positions so far but I do not agree with some of the choices that he has made.

I think that the "forclosure" position was a bad choice on his part to create a job for what looks to be a favor.

What Marco Island needs is a manager for the people. This island was being managed poorly and I hope that that will turn around with a new look and a new direction coming out of City Hall.

I agree with you MrBreeze. That Forclosure position is a waste of annual salary. Code can do this as well. Many of you think the new City Manager is the best thing since apple pie. Think again. He is OK but not the best.

MrBreeze writes:

Yes Slowsky you said it best. He is "ok" but not the best. The creation of the forclosure position showed that he will still go for the "insiders" when called upon. I think that a person for the people would have denied the creation of such a position based on it spent our tax dollars in not a positive way.

I will not base my entire opinion on one event but it shure can sway my outlook on future decisions.

u2cane writes:

Well, its not like the bar had been set very high for him. If you came in with a pulse and did some good things you were better than your predecessors. Kinda like the next President will get after Bush and Obama. Jim has done a good job cleaning up some of the mess though and hopefully he continues down that path.

ajm3s writes:

in response to u2cane:

Well, its not like the bar had been set very high for him. If you came in with a pulse and did some good things you were better than your predecessors. Kinda like the next President will get after Bush and Obama. Jim has done a good job cleaning up some of the mess though and hopefully he continues down that path.

Nice perspective.

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