AUGUSTA — City councilors are considering a new contract that would keep City Manager William Bridgeo on the job into 2014.

The three-year contract proposal, up for a vote by councilors Thursday, would give Bridgeo a 2 percent raise this year. In the second and third years, he’d potentially earn cost-of-living increases if councilors also award them to other nonunion employees.

The 2 percent pay increase, retroactive to July 1, would be Bridgeo’s first in the last 15 months; and second in the last four years.

Bridgeo was first hired in 1998 and makes about $106,000 per year.

Bridgeo and Mayor William Stokes said the city manager’s salary is in line with the salaries of managers of the 10 largest communities in Maine excluding Portland, which was not part of the salary comparison done by the city.

“Bill has done a fabulous job,” Stokes said. “His most recent evaluation was outstanding. Keeping him around is important to me. I think he is certainly deserving of a contract, and I think Augusta can be proud of what he has been able to accomplish since he has been city manager.”

Bridgeo, reached while returning from a vacation, said he and his wife, Janice, love the community and hope to stay here through their retirement years.

“As long as the mayor and City Council are happy with my work, then I’m enthused about continuing on,” said Bridgeo, whose career has included four municipal manager’s positions in three states. “This past winter, in my evaluation by councilors, I found it to be very positive and encouraging. And that is what led up to a mutual desire to continue on.”

He described the performance evaluation of his work by councilors as the most favorable review he had received in 30 years as a city manager.

A three-year contract is the maximum length allowed by the Augusta City Charter.

Bridgeo said the 2 percent raise is consistent with raises given to other nonunion city employees recently.

“I think to keep good people you have to reward them,” Stokes said. “His salary is certainly in line with those of managers in comparable communities. In some cases, it’s slightly more, some slightly less.”

The proposed contract, up for a vote when councilors meet Thursday at 7 p.m. in council chambers at Augusta City Center, was drafted by Stephen Langsdorf, city attorney, with input from Bridgeo after a closed-door session between councilors and the manager a few weeks ago.

The contract would allow Bridgeo, on a one-time basis during the life of the contract, to cash out up to 10 days of unused vacation time which, in recent years, has typically lapsed because he said he has not had the opportunity to take it.

“It’s a busy job,” Bridgeo said. “I’m not discouraged or complaining about that, because I really love my work. There are a lot of demands placed on the city manager, and while I do get a couple of weeks away each year, to get the job done the way I want to do it, I end up not taking some of my vacation time.”

The rest of the terms of the proposed contract are generally the same as Bridgeo’s current, and previous, contracts.

 

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

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