MARCO ISLAND — Finding a new job was no sweat for recently fired Marco Island City Manager Steve Thompson.
In late May, about one month after city council voted to terminate Thompson, he was chosen as the new director of the Municipal Technical Advisory Service at the University of Tennessee’s Institute for Public Service.
As the director, Thompson will oversee several consultants and trainers, offering cities in Tennessee financial, legal safety and technical expertise.
“Instead of working with one city, I’ll be working with 345,” Thompson said.
It was a quick turn around from one job to the next, he acknowledged.
Candidates in management, professional and related occupations remained unemployed for a median time period of approximately five months, reported the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2008.
Thompson was asked to start immediately, but said he chose instead to spend much of the summer with his family and will begin in July.
Thompson was hired as Marco Island’s city manager in 2008. Council decided to terminate Thompson’s contract on April 19 effective in 30 days. Had Thompson began work immediately with the University, he would have been unemployed for less than one week.
Thompson was replaced temporarily by Marco Island resident Jim Riviere, the former Planning Board chairman. Riviere is serving as the interim city manager and council has suspended its search for a long-term manager until fall.
Thompson earned a severance of about $175,000. His annual salary was $160,000 and he 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.
Thompson’s new salary wasn’t immediately available and he didn’t disclose it, instead saying: “It’s an outstanding opportunity.”
Prior to Marco, Thompson was a city manager in Deltona and Greenville, S.C., as well as an assistant city manager in Virginia Beach, Va.
“I hope this is from the good work and experiences with cities I have worked with out there,” Thompson said.