The agendas for the November 1 Shady Cove Council study session and meeting were noticeably light. Possibly because one item on each agenda was the City Administrator Employment Agreement – a topic which last year spread over three meetings and an Executive Session and ended in a 4/1 vote in mid December!
This year, though there was certainly discussion, the contract was renewed quickly and unanimously. There were two main points of discussion. First, the wording around the PERS increase. Councilor Gary Hughes wanted to clarify that the 2011 increase of 6.6% was a onetime increase and felt the wording wasn’t clear. After discussion it was agreed that had indeed been the intent and the wording was adjusted prior to evening voting. The second point of debate was once again the percentage of a proposed raise. Councilor Bill Kyle, who worked with Hughes and Administrator Danise Brakeman as a sub-committee preparing the draft agreement, proposed a 3% raise with a mid-year bonus of $1500.00. Hughes this amount (which breaks down to 5.25% overall raise) was excessive, especially in light of continuing poor economics both nationally and locally. He counter proposed 2.2% with no bonus. As with last year, everyone agreed Brakeman is doing a good job and deserves a pay increase, the debate is over what is appropriate. The evening meeting found Councilor Jim Ulrich proposing a 3% increase with no bonus, feeling this was a good “middle ground”. Councilor Leith Hayes agreed, having researched national wage increases between meetings and finding nationally folks can expect 2.8% in 2012. With Shady Cove falling above national averages in unemployment and below in overall income; the 3% proposed seemed fair to all council members and the motion for the new contract carried 5/0. However, Kyle advised he would be bringing up the matter of the bonus again midyear.
The first reading of an Ordinance amending the Comprehensive Plan and changing the Zoning Map (Flywater) was postponed. There was a first reading of an Ordinance to grant a non-exclusive franchise between the city and Hunter Communications. Hunter plans to put fiber optic lines in to service a small area of the city. Currently there are plans to put in a few additional power poles, but council directed Brakeman to advise Hunter they would prefer all new lines be installed underground in another step toward improving the overall look of the city.