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- Paris Flash
Auctioneer Frankie Norwood solicits bids midway through a live auction during Paris’ first annual Fireman’s Ball. (eParisExtra.com photos by Charles Richards)
By CHARLES RICHARDS
Paris civic leaders gathered Saturday night at the Love Civic Center for a look-back at the 1916 fire that destroyed downtown Paris — particularly the efforts of the firefighters who battled the fire and the community’s determined effort over the following year to rebuild.
Proceeds for the $25-a-plate Firemen’s Ball – which included a meal and live and silent auction – are earmarked for an annual community-wide “Paris, Texas Fire Festival” — the first of which is planned for June 2013.
Auctioneer Frankie Norwood, who is also a member of the Paris Junior College board of regents, presided over the live auction.
The festival, according to City of Paris recreation director Sally Wright, “is to show our city’s resilience in how strong we came back after the devastating fire of 1916.”
Images and memorabilia from both the Paris Fire Department and the Fire of 1916 were on display at Saturday night’s ball. The live auction focused on memorabilia from the fire 96 years ago.
City councilman John Wright was the high bidder on a 9-week-old dalmatian puppy. As the bidding went up, he hesitated to bid again but with his granddaughter looking at him pleadingly, Wright persisted and won the auction.
Fire chief Ronnie Grooms was the high bidder for a table, built by firefighters, with the department logo emblazoned across the top.
City councilman Matt Frierson was the high bidder for an “Aggie fire hydrant” that was painted by another city councilman, Edwin Pickle. Both are Aggies.
John Fuston of Paris, who is a retired firefighter and fire historian, spoke for about 30 minutes, giving a first-person account of his experiences on Sept. 11, 2001, as a member of the Prince Georges County Fire Department in suburban Washington, D.C.
Fuston said he remembers everything about that day just as if it were yesterday.
After watching on television the coverage on the planes that flew into the Twin Towers in New York City, and then learning that another plane had flown into the Pentagon, the concern was that more planes would be flying into the White House or the Capitol in Washington, D.C., and Fuston’s department went on full alert, sending both firefighters and apparatus into the capital and to the Pentagon.
The Blackwater Woods Band provided music during the meal. The Billion Dollar Blues Band provided live music to dance to.
Crawford’s Hole in the Wall catered the event with a meal of chicken fried steak, potatoes, and green beans.
The Paris Police Department provided the four-member honor guard.
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A local effort to pray for Lamar County students has hit the millennial mark.
The effort started out with six people who got together last summer to find a way to help Lamar County students face their daily challenges. They became a team of prayer warriors that has done nothing but grow since. A celebration in November commemorated reaching 500 pray-ers. Now they’re planning another celebration at 7 p.m. May 7 at Christ Community Church.
“There’s no good day to have it, so you just pick a day and have it,” Long said.
The committee now has direct contact with 35 churches and is constantly looking for more.
“Lamar Avenue Church of Christ, I’ve been after them for months. Yesterday, they did theirs from the pulpit,” Dick Boots said. He held up a stack of volunteer cards about two inches thick. “One hundred fourteen.”
Each volunteer gets a card that serves as a reminder to pray. They place it somewhere to keep that reminder in front of them — sunvisors, fruit bowls, refrigerators, wallets.
It’s not a mentor program like Big Brothers Big Sisters. The pray-ers know little about the students they bow their heads for.
“I’ve been praying for a kid at North Lamar, and I wouldn’t know him if he walked in the door,” Long said. “The One to whom we’re praying knows exactly who he is or who she is.”
At first, they concentrated on the seniors. As their numbers grew, they incorporated the juniors.
“We will be into the sophomores after this,” Long said, tapping the stack of new volunteers.
Some have asked to know more about their prayees, such as gender and what school they go to. Brad Aldridge, pastor of Christ Community Church, said he would pray differently depending on whether it was a boy or girl. The committee agreed to provide that information, but said it’s better not to know the school .
“There’s enough competition among the schools,” Boots said. “In my opinion, they need to be lumped together. These are students of Lamar County, not students of North Lamar or Roxton.”
Even if they don’t’ know much about the individuals being prayed for, those doing the praying know they’re making a difference in the community. It may be hard to see, Aldridge said, but it’s definitely there. If nothing else, things are not as bad as they would be otherwise, he said.
“It’s a huge investment in our community and in our own spiritual growth,” said Judi Brandt, pastor of Oak Park First United Methodist Church. “I think this is an impressive endeavor. This is what we are called to do in praying without ceasing.”
(Below is the employment contract approved Monday night by the Paris City Council and sent to search firm Strategic Government Resources to give to city manager designee John Godwin for his signature.)
This Agreement, made and entered into this ___ day of March 2012 by and between the City Council of the City of Paris, Texas, a municipal corporation (hereinafter called “Employer”), and John K. Godwin (hereinafter called “Employee”), an individual who has the education, training and experience in local government management and who, as a member of ICMA is subject to the ICMA Code of Ethics, both of whom agree as follows:
Section 1: Term
1.1 Initial Term. The term of this Employment Agreement (“Agreement”) shall be for a period of three (3) years beginning May 23, 2012 and ending May 22, 2015 (“initial term”) provided, however, the term of this Agreement may be terminated earlier by either party subject to the provisions set forth in Sections 9, 10 and 11 of this Agreement.
1.2 Extension. Prior to the expiration of the initial term of this Agreement, Employer and Employee may mutually agree in writing to renew and extend this Agreement.
Section 2: Employment/Assignment and Duties
Employer hereby agrees to employ John Godwin as City Manager for the City of Paris, Texas. Employee shall faithfully perform the duties of City Manager as prescribed in the job description, as set fgorth in the City Charter, City Ordinances, City Policies and Procedures and as may be lawfully assigned by the City Council. Further, Employee shall comply with the City Charter, City Ordinances, City Policies and Procedures, and all applicable state and federal law, as they exist and as they may be amended (collectively “Applicable Laws and Authorities”) and all lawful City Council directives. All duties assigned to Employee by the Council shall be appropriate to and consistent with the professional role and responsibility of the City Manager position.
Section 3: Compensation
Section 4: Health, Disability and Life Insurance Benefits
Section 5: Vacation and Sick Leave
Section 6: Monthly Vehicle Allowance
Employer agrees to pay to Employee, during the term of this Agreement and in addition to other salary and benefits herein provided the sum of $6,000 per year, payable monthly, as a vehicle allowance to be used to purchase, lease, or own, operate and maintain a vehicle. Beginning May 1, 2013, the monthly allowance shall be increased in proportion to the percentage increase in the cost of retail fuel as published by the Oil Price Information Services (OPIS). Employee shall be responsible for paying for liability, property damage, and comprehensive insurance coverage upon such vehicle and shall further be responsible for all expenses attendant to the purchase, operation, maintenance, repair and regular replacement of said vehicle. Employee shall reimburse the Employee at the IRS standard mileage rate for any business use of the vehicle outside Lamar County.
Section 7: Retirement.
Employer agrees to enroll Employee into the Texas Municipal Retirement System and to make all the appropriate contributions on the Employee’s behalf.
Section 8: General Business Expenses
Section 9: Termination
For the purpose of this agreement termination shall occur when:
A. Employee is terminated for good cause. For purposes of this Agreement, the term “good cause” is defined as follows:
1. Any willful, knowing, grossly negligent, or negligent breach, disregard or habitual neglect of any provisions of this Agreement, or any willful, knowing, grossly negligent, or negligent breach, disregard ort habitual neglect of any duty or obligation required to be performed by City Manager under this Agreement or under the Charter, ordinances and/or Policies of the City and/or the laws of the United States or the State of Texas.
2. Any willful, knowing, or grossly negligent misapplication or misuse, direct or indirect, by City Manager of public or other funds or other property, real, personal, or mixed, owned by or entrusted to the City, any agency or corporation thereof, or the City Manager in his official capacity.
B. The majority of the governing body votes to terminate the Employee at a duly authorized public meeting.
C. If Employer, citizens, or the state legislature acts to amend any provisions of the Texas Local Government Code or a future city charter pertaining to the role, powers, duties, authority, responsibilities of Employee’s position that substantially changes the form of government, the Employee shall have the right to declare that such amendments constitute termination.
D. If Employer reduces the base salary, compensation or any other financial benefit of the Employee, unless it is applied in no greater percentage than the average reduction of all department heads, such action shall constitute a breach of this agreement and will be regarded as a termination.
E. If Employee resigns his employment with the City, in response to a resolution approved by a majority of the entire City Council requesting Employee’s resignation, then Employee may declare a termination as of the date of his signed letter of resignation.
F. Employer has committed a material breach of this Agreement and Employer has not cured the breach within thirty (30) days following receipt of written notice of the breach delivered by Employee. Provided, however, if said breach cannot be cured within said thirty (30) days, then Employer shall be allowed a reasonable amount of time to cure said breach. Written notice of a breach of contract shall be provided in accordance with the provisions of Section 17.
Section 10: Severance
Severance shall be paid to Employee when employment is terminated as defined by Section 9.
If Employee is terminated, Employer shall provided a minimum severance payment equal to 10 months’ salary at the then-current rate of pay. This severance shall be paid in a join sum unless otherwise agreed to by Employer and Employee. One year from the effective date of this agreement and payment shall increase to an amount equal to eleven months’ salary, and two years from the effective date to twelve months.
Employee shall also be compensated for all accrued sick leave, vacation time, all paid holidays, and administrative leave, if any.
For a minimum period of 10 months following termination, Employer shall pay the cost to continue the following benefits:
If Employee is terminated for good cause, then Employer is not obligated to pay severance under this section.
Section 11: Resignation
In the event that Employee voluntarily resigns his position with Employer, Employee shall provide a minimum of thirty (30) days notice unless the parties agree otherwise. Employer is not obligated to pay severance to Employee in the event Employer voluntarily resigns his employment with City.
Section 12: Performance Evaluation
Employer shall annually review the performance of Employee subject to a process, form, criteria, and format for the evaluation which shall be mutually agreed upon by Employer and Employee. The process at a minimum shall include the opportunity for both parties to: 1) prepare a written evaluation, 2) meet and discuss the evaluation, and 3) present a written summary of the evaluation results. The final written evaluation should be completed and delivered to Employee within thirty (30) days of the evaluation meeting.
Section 13: Hours of Work
It is recognized that Employee must devote a great deal of time outside normal office hours on business for Employer, and to that end Employee shall be allowed to establish an appropriate work schedule.
Section 14: Outside Activities
The employment provided for by this Agreement shall be Employee’s sole employment. However, recognizing that certain outside consulting or teaching opportunities provide indirect benefits to Employer and the community, Employee may elect to accept limited teaching, consulting or other business opportunities with the understanding that such arrangements shall not constitute interference with or a conflict of interest with his responsibilities under this Agreement.
Section 15: Indemnification
To the extent permitted by law, Employer shall defend, save harmless and indemnify Employee against any tort, professional liability claim or demand or other legal action, whether groundless or otherwise, arising out of an alleged act or omission occurring in the performance of Employee’s duties as City Manager or resulting from the exercise of judgment or discretion in connection with the performance of program duties or responsibilities, unless the act or omission involved willful or wanton conduct. Employee may request and Employer shall not unreasonably refuse to provide independent legal representation at Employer’s expense and Employer may not unreasonably withhold approval. Legal representation, provided by Employer for Employee, shall extend until a final determination of the legal action including any appeals brought by either party. Employer shall indemnify employee against any and all losses, damages, judgments, interest, settlements, fines, court costs and other reasonable costs and expenses of legal proceedings including attorneys fees, and any other liabilities incurred by, imposed upon, or suffered by such Employee in connection with or resulting from any claim, action, suit, or proceeding, actual or threatened, arising out of or in connection with the performance of his or her duties. Any settlement of any claim must be made with prior approval of Employer in order for indemnification, as provided in this Section, to be available.
Employee recognizes that Employer shall have the right to prosecute, compromise and/or settle any claim or lawsuit involving Employee in his official capacity and Employee shall have imput in the prosecution or settlement of a claim, lawsuit or settlement only if Employee was sued in his personal capacity. Further, Employer agrees to pay all reasonable litigation expenses of Employee through the pendency of any litigation to which Employee is a party, witness or advisor to Employer. Such expense payments shall continue beyond Employee’s service to the Employer as long as litigation is pending. Further, Employer agrees to pay Employee reasonable consulting fees and travel expenses when Employee serves as a witness, advisor or consultant to Employer regarding pending litigation.
Section 16: Other Terms and Conditions of Employment
Employer, only upon agreement with Employee, shall fix any such other terms and conditions of employment, as it may determine from time to time, relating to the performance of the Employee, provided such terms and conditions are not inconsistent with or in conflict with the provisions of this Agreement, the Texas Local Government Code, the City of Paris Charter, or any other law.
Section 17: Notices
Notice pursuant to this Agreement shall be given by depositing in the custody of the United States Postal Service, postage prepaid, addressed as follows:
(1) EMPLOYER: Mayor, City of Paris, P.O. Box 9037, Paris, Texas 75461-9037; and an additional copy addressed to City Clerk, City of Paris, Texas, PO Box 9037, Paris, Texas 75461-9037.
(2) EMPLOYEE: John Godwin, 6613 Springmeadow Lane, Rowlett, TX 75089
Alternatively, notice requiring pursuant to this Agreement may be personally served in the same manner as is applicable to civil judicial practice. Notice shall be deemed given as of the date of personal service or as the date of deposit of such written notice in the course of transmission in the United States Postal Service.
Section 18: General Provisions
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, THE City and the Manager have executed this Agreement as of the dates indicated below.
THE CITY OF PARIS, TEXAS
AJ Hashmi, M.D., Mayor
Janice Ellis, City Clerk
John K. Godwin
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By CHARLES RICHARDS
To those who complain that the Paris City Council has agreed to pay “way too much” to the next city manager, Mayor AJ Hashmi shared this observation:
Of all the candidates that the council interviewed over the past several months, he said. “ there has not been a single candidate that I have seen who has been wanting to come to Paris unless you make it somewhat attractive to him.”
The $165,430 annual salary that the council offered Fairview town manager John Godwin, 52, is only about $10,000 to $15,000 above what the second choice would have needed to come here, Hashmi said, and is about what former city manager Kevin Carruth would be making if he were still here.
The total compensation package for Godwin is below $200,000 a year, the mayor said.
“The benefits, the insurance, the car allowance — all those things add up, they get expensive, the total amount of a package it takes to hire a feasible city manager,” District 4 councilman Dr. Richard Grossnickle added.
Carruth resigned on Jan. 1, 2011, after accepting a $140,000 buyout from the city. His contract would have expired in August 2011.
Godwin emerged from three finalists that the council interviewed — two of them on Feb. 20 and the third, Godwin, on March 5. All the candidate interviews took place behind closed doors.
Following Godwin’s interview, the council deliberated for about 45 minutes, then came into open session to vote on who would be offered the job. All seven councilmen apparently were receptive to either Godwin or one of the other finalists, John Whitson, 62, the city manager of Morrisville, N.C., outside Raleigh.
Four councilmen — Grossnickle, Edwin Pickle, Joe McCarthy and Matt Frierson — voted for Godwin. Three councilmen — Hashmi, John Wright and Robert Avila — voted for Whitson, a native of Soper, Okla., who is also a finalist for the city manager’s job in League City, near Galveston.
Whitson spent 20 years in the military, retiring as a lieutenant colonel before moving on to 20 years as a city manager in North Carolina.
Before the council’s 6-1 vote to approve the contract at Monday night’s city council meeting, Hashmi made note of the grumblings in the community concerning the city manager talks. He offered each councilman the opportunity to address the issue.
All seven councilmen, including Hashmi, availed themselves of the chance.
District 6 councilman Edwin Pickle: “As a council member for more than four years, I can easily say the selection process for our new city manager has been the most tedious and arduous task I’ve been involved in. I would like to say thank you to each member of the council for their involvement and commitment for the final 10 months. Four of you were well aware of the impending task for the first year of your council duties, yet you ran for election anyway. The other three of us have helped create this situation, yet we stayed focused on where we were and where we wanted to go. Over the past 10 months, we have reviewed almost 100 applications and resumes, interviewed between 15 and 20 applicants, and spent countless hours contemplating our decision. During this time, we have been advised and attacked, complimented and criticized, supported and scrutinized, yet we continued to maintain an open mind. We wanted to spend as much time and effort as necessary to insure that our selection was not just the best person for the job, but the best value. That is what we have done. Did we realize the feedback we received from the city would be less than positive? Absolutely. Did we realize the comments, opinions and criticisms would be made without regard to the facts? Absolutely. Do we feel we made the best decision for the City of Paris? Absolutely. Now is the time for the citizens of Paris to decide just how successful this new city manager can be. I encourage everyone to embrace our decision. Let’s leave the past behind and look forward to the future.”
District 5 councilman Matt Frierson: “This decision has not been made lightly. There has been so much thought and deliberation by the council members. I think it has weighed heavily on all our minds for the past year. Our decisions are sometimes very easy and sometimes very difficult. We were going to receive criticism and praise, as Edwin said, no matter what the decision. But, a bit of background, having gone through this (working for a search firm) as a profession for multiple years, I can easily say the diligence has been complete. The information, as much as we can possibly get, is complete. There has been a lot of misinformation in terms of severance, length of severance, salary terms — all these things. And they are all valid concerns to citizens who pay taxes to the city and want to have their voice heard. That being said, we have gone as far as we can go in terms of market research, reference checks, all the bullet points that we wanted to touch on — someone who has been employed, someone who has a proven track record in dealing with issues that are going to be facing this city in the near future. Paris is a great place, and there is a lot of opportunity here to be had. Gene (finance director and interim manager Gene Anderson) and the rest of the staff have done a wonderful job in the interim, and I would like to thank them for all the things they have done. If we are to accomplish as a council the things that we set out to do from a strategic standpoint, then it is time that we move forward.”
District 3 councilman John Wright: “I’d like to thank each member of the council for their deliberations and the many hours they put in. I know we are all most interested in the future and the welfare of the city. But what I consider the vast difference in terms of money that the employees are drawing, and the department heads are making, I don’t see this being anything but a detriment to the spirit and the welfare of the personnel who work for the city. I think we are going to have a problem with people who don’t think they’re getting their fair share and I will oppose this motion.”
District 2 councilman Robert Avila: “It has been a long road, a hard one. We’ve all worked real hard. It was time to do what we needed to do. What I’m going to do, and the way I do it, is going to be the best interest for the city and the citizens. Hopefully, everybody is happy.
”District 1 councilman Joe McCarthy:“I’d like to thank my cohorts for laboring, for what we’ve been going through for the past several months, for all the hard work, a lot of mental stress. I think the decision that perhaps we will make to bring this city manager aboard will be great for this city and prepare it to move forward. The candidate we are looking at I think is the man that can do this. I think he can take us to greater heights, and that is where I would like to see the City of Paris go. Will everyone be satisfied? No. We cannot satisfy the coffee shops, but I’ve never been up here to try to tailor to the coffee shops. So with this and my decision, I’ll stand by it ‘til the day I die for the betterment of Paris.”
District 4 councilman Dr. Richard Grossnickle: “This has been a very difficult, challenging time. We all have worked hard. We’ve spent a lot of time investigating different applicants, and through our own search were unable to find anyone who really had the power to guide us and help the City of Paris grow and progress beyond what it is now. But we did make the decision to hire SGR. They brought us a better level of candidates. We did interview three of them, and I could have been happy with either of the other people, but I really felt that the candidate that I voted for is the man that we want. He has an incredible track record. He started as a high school educator and coach, has been in lots of cities in Texas as an assistant city manager. He’s been blessed by being in cities that had dealt with growth and some of the problems that it causes, and he’s found solutions everywhere he’s been. He’s got outstanding references. He’s got abilities that are so beyond the initial round of applicants that we interviewed. A lot of people have been bandying around figures of low salaries. You know, ‘Why can’t you hire somebody for $110,000?’ Well, you know, you get what you pay for. The benefits, the insurance, the car allowance, all those things add up, they get expensive – the total amount of a package it takes to hire a feasible city manager. But I really think we have the potential to have one of the best city managers we’ve ever had, and I hope that he will stay here as long as he’ll have us. I hope he can help us get into more of a growth record and maybe guide us to some improvements that will come to the city. But first he has to make the city a place that industries have come to in the past. They saw the good, and we need to somehow have a manager who can present Paris to the world as a great place to live and build factories and create jobs, and I think our manager will do that. So let’s put aside talk about, ‘Well you could have gotten someone cheaper.’ Yeah, we could have, but we got a great man, and only time will prove us right. But I hope in 10 years we say that it was money well spent and that the city leaders were astute enough to pick the right man for the job, and we tried hard to do that.”
Mayor and District 7 councilman Dr. AJ Hashmi: “I’m really kind of torn right now, and the reason for that is I’m going to vote on somebody’s contract that I didn’t vote for to begin with. I’m also torn because I represent a district whose people have definite opinions about it. We’ve gone through a very lengthy process of interviewing people and looking at various contracts of other cities. When one looks back to all the candidates we have seen, I have no doubt that this is a good candidate. But as I said before, the other two finalists that we interviewed were also very good candidates. When one looks at the salary scale of these candidates, there has not been a single candidate that I have seen who has been wanting to come to Paris unless you make it somewhat attractive to him. Although, as I said, I’m very torn in my decision, I am not torn because I don’t think the person is good. I may have some concerns that caused me to vote for someone else to begin with, but in the long run I think we did do a good job and I think he will do a good job as a city manager. Am I concerned about the high salary? Yes, it’s a concern, but not a very high concern at this point, because if you look back at all the other candidates that we have seen, there’s no question we could have gotten someone for less money. But if you look at salaries – someone has pointed out that if Kevin Carruth were still here, that would be about his salary. If you look at (the other finalist) that drew support, that I voted for, there’s not a big difference — $10,000 or $15,000 less — that he would have been willing to come here for. So really my decision is not just based on the salary, my decision at this point is whether we will have a city manager or not. I voted for the other candidate because I had some concerns about Mr. Godwin. I’ll leave it at that.”
After the individual comments, there was another exchange with the council, this time from a citizen, Ray Banks, whose questions in the Citizens Forum early in the council meeting were deferred until the city manager issue came up at the bottom of the agenda.
Banks asked if the contract would be made public.
“Once it’s signed,” City Attorney Kent McIlyar replied.
“It will be public record once the council votes on it,” Banks corrected.
“You’re welcome to have your opinion. The council is just one side,” McIlyar argued.
Interim city manager Gene Anderson said the council is “basically voting to make an offer. The contract will come back for the council’s approval. We’ll be able to find out what’s in it when the council votes on it.”
Addressing Frierson, Banks noted: “You mentioned misinformation getting out. Why is that not due to (the council) not being transparent in letting the citizens know what you are considering?”
Mayor Hashmi joined in: “I think that’s a very good suggestion.”
Frierson said to Banks: “I totally understand your concern. There’s a very valid reason for your questions, but there’s a very valid reason” why the council wasn’t forthcoming during the process. “In all fairness,” Frierson said, “the voters put their trust in us to do our job, and we did the best we could.”
Banks responded: “He (Godwin) may be a fine, wonderful city manager, and I hope he is. But we’ve had problems in the past of things being done behind closed doors that should have been in the open, and I think that’s what citizens are getting tired of.”
Hashmi added, “Absolutely.”
Once the meeting ended, the city attorney balked at handing copies of the contract over to the media.
When reporters turned to the mayor – who by now was in the back of the council chambers — with their arguments that the contract is public record, he agreed.
“I have no problem with you getting a copy of it. You should be able to get a copy now. Wait here,” the mayor said, walking over to the council dais where the city attorney was.
A couple of minutes later, Hashmi returned to say that copies of the contract would be made available to the media shortly. Five minutes later, the six-page document was in reporters’ hands.
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Fairview town manager John Godwin, who has accepted an offer to become Paris’ new city manager, is shown with Mayor AJ Hashmi (seated) and finance director Gene Anderson (right) before a March 5 executive session of the Paris City Council in which he was interviewed and subsequently offered the job. (eParisExtra.com photo by Charles Richards)
By CHARLES RICHARDS
The Paris City Council brought its 15-month search for a city manager near a close Monday night by approving a 3-year contract that will pay Fairview town manager John Kenneth Godwin $165,430 a year plus a benefit package that will bring his total compensation to almost $200,000 a year.
Godwin said on March 5 when he was offered the job that he could be in Paris to start work “in 8 to 10 weeks.”
The contract will go into effect on May 23, the day Godwin is expected to report for work.
Godwin’s benefit package amounts to $33,715 a year, finance director Gene Anderson said in an e-mail message Monday night, responding to reporters’ questions. That’s an additional 20.4 percent that will boost his total compensation package to $199,145.
Approval of the contract offer came at the end of Monday’s city council meeting on a 6-1 vote, with District 3 councilman John Wright casting the dissenting vote. He said the deal was excessive and would create morale problems for city employees.
Voting yes were Mayor AJ Hashmi (District 7) and councilmen Joe McCarthy (District 1), Robert Avila (District 2), Dr. Richard Grossnickle (District 4), Matt Frierson (District 5), and Edwin Pickle (District 6).
Godwin, 52, is married and has three daughters, two of them grown. He has been manager of Fairview, a fast-growing community on Highway 5 between McKinney and Allen, since 2002.
The vote came after a 40-minute executive session.
After the council came back into open session, the mayor noted there had been controversy over various aspects of the hiring and gave each councilman the opportunity to comment about the process they went through. All seven councilmen did so.
Godwin’s total compensation package is expected to approach $200,000 a year.
The contract, which is being forwarded to Godwin for his signature, also calls for Godwin to receive:
If the council should terminate Godwin for other than “willful, knowing, grossly negligent or negligent breach, disregard of habitual neglect,” the city will be obligated to pay all of his benefits plus his salary for an additional 10 months.
One year from the effective date of the the agreement, the severance will become 11 months’ salary, and two years from the effective date (and thereafter) the severance will become 12 months’ salary.
In the event of termination, the manager will also be compensated for all accrued sick leave, vacation time, all paid holidays, and administrative leave, if any.
If the manager is terminated for good cause, the city is not obligated to pay severance.
If the manager voluntarily resigns, it must be with 30 days’ notice, and the city is not obligated to pay severance.
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