By AMANDA KIMBLE
STEPHENVILLE (October 20, 2016) – Wayne McKethan is ready to serve.
“I am excited to be in Stephenville,” he said, adding that the city is in good financial standing and poised for progress.
A contract between McKethan’s Hood County based consulting firm, The Financial City Manager, LLC and the city of Stephenville was signed by Mayor Kenny Weldon Wednesday.
The agreement outlines expectations and compensation for McKethan’s role as interim city administrator. The seven-page document reveals McKethan, former city manager and financial director for the city of Granbury, will be compensated at a rate of $14,700 per month for a minimum of three months.
McKethan, a certified public accountant whose work experience also includes decades in the banking industry, will function as an independent contractor. The agreement says services outlined in the contract can be performed by the consultant or the Financial City Manager staff. McKethan will be responsible for paying all taxes, and city will not provide benefits of any kind.
The pay rate is – for the most part – in line with the city budget. The contract with McKethan states the agreement will be in place for a maximum of 180 days, or about six months.
If he were to be employed for a full year, the annual salary would be more than $176,000.
The recently adopted 2016-17 budget includes a pay scale for city administrator that maxes out at $126,787, but additional compensation-related expenses, including retirement, social security, worker’s compensation, group insurance and a car allowance, boost the total budgeted amount to more than $168,000.
McKethan will be expected to perform the full scope of services outlined in the city administrator job description, an exempt position that was adopted by the Stephenville City Council and last updated January 2015.
The contract with McKethan limits his services to 45 hours per week.
Meanwhile, Mayor Weldon confirmed Thursday McKethan will have the option to recommend the employment of a deputy city administrator to the council for approval.
The deputy position is a new addition, approved by the city council Tuesday. One of the city’s departmental directors would function in the dual role, serving as deputy city administrator and the head of another department.
In addition to departmental director duties, the deputy administrator would be responsible for operational oversight of assigned departments; addressing citizen complaints; acting as administrative project manager; and providing assistance with inter-governmental relations, employee discipline, strategic planning, policy development and more.
The deputy would also function as city administrator during absence or leave.
When Jeremy Allen, community services director who was functioning as acting interim city administrator at the time, presented the deputy job description to the council for approval, an attached letter recommended a pay range for the position between $109,00 and $125,000 per year.
Allen, who was initially considered to fill the role for which McKethan was hired, said Thursday the recommendation did not include benefits.
Allen is expected to be one of the directors considered for the deputy position. He was purportedly the only director with interest in the interim role when internal candidates were being considered.
The position upgrade would essentially mean working two jobs for a maximum pay boost of about $37,000. But, it would also mean Allen’s salary would be in line with the city administrator pay, assuming the council approves the pay scale he recommended Tuesday. That recommendation was based on comparable positions of in other cities.
The current budget includes a community services director salary of almost $88,000, which adds up to more than $122,000 when all other compensation-related expenses and benefits are included.
The increased responsibility would give Allen experience that could eventually land him a city manager role.
During the interim administrator search, several council members praised Allen’s work ethic and desire to climb the employment ladder.
“I find Mr. Allen to be professional and sincere in his endeavors,” council member Rhett Harrison said. “His work ethic is superb, and he is an asset to this community. I do believe he could be a great city administrator someday and that might come sooner than later.”
Note: This story has been edited from the original version to clarify some incorrectly reported salary figures. The Flash apologizes for any confusion the errors may have caused.