City manager awarded 6.8 percent pay raise

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Jim Crosby, Yukon City Manager

Editor’s Note:  Regarding the city attorney’s pay raise, the city council voted to approve the raise 4 to 1 (not 5 to 0 as originally reported.)

Yukon city manager Jim Crosby earned a 6.8 percent pay raise at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

By a 4-1 vote, the council approved Crosby’s employment contract effective March 1. Council member Shelli Selby voted no.

Crosby’s total pay has been increased to $157,000. The city manager’s base pay for the next year is $149,000 and he will receive an $8,000 stipend “for his outstanding performance,” Mayor Mike McEachern announced.

“Jim has done an absolutely amazing job and I think should be rewarded accordingly.”

The mayor thanked Crosby for “coming back at a time when the city really needed him.” Crosby had served as Yukon’s city manager from 1994 to 2011, then spent four years in Piedmont. He returned to Yukon after a financial crisis hit the city in late 2015.

Mayor McEachern said the city council has reviewed “numerous accomplishments” and the “overall performance” of their city manager.

Yukon will continue to furnish Crosby with a vehicle and the termination provision in his contact will be changed from three months to one year.

Council members credited Crosby with turning around Yukon’s financial situation during past three years.

“Mr. Crosby has made tremendous strides to bring us back to the fully solvent and well-ordered organization the taxpayers truly deserve,” McEachern said. “He has brought the wealth of experience needed for our recovery that we celebrate today.”

‘AMAZING’ CITY MANAGER

Selby, who cast the lone dissenting vote on the new employment contract, told Crosby she believes he is an “amazing city manager.”

“You have brought the city back from where it was several years ago when we had mismanagement,” Selby said. “You and I butt heads a lot, but we have the ability to disagree and still have respect. I think you’re an amazing businessman.

“So what I have to say is not a lack of confidence. … I have complete confidence in you.”

Selby said she believes Crosby deserves the 6.8 percent raise.

“But I believe the city employees deserve that big a raise also,” she said. “This is not personal; I think you’re an amazing administrator.”

City officials last year reviewed and updated city employees’ step increase pay structure.

“Almost all the city employees will be receiving an additional approximately three percent; it will vary slightly based on their service and seniority,” McEachern pointed out. “They also will be receiving additional raises this year. Last year was the first time in over three years.”

Council members decided on the 6.8 percent pay increase for Crosby after examining a comparison of other local communities’ pay criteria from the Oklahoma Municipal League (OML) “based on similar cities with similar structure”, the mayor noted.

McEachern credited Crosby with upgrading Yukon’s insurance coverage and saving “over half a million dollars.” And the mayor said he had “28 other reasons for specific items that I have looked at that justify bringing him up” to his new salary.

“It certainly is in line with everything else that’s currently being done by other similar communities managing similar budgets with similar employee levels,” McEachern said.

CITY ATTORNEY PAY HIKE

Also Tuesday night, the council voted 5-0 to approve a contract for legal services with City Attorney Gary Miller. His base pay will be $79,500, a 6.7 percent increase.

“Mr. Miller has been very critical to our substantial legal responsibilities during the past year,” McEachern said of the retired district judge. “Along with his vast experience and knowledge, we are very fortunate to have his services.

“And currently, based on the OML studies, he is still underpaid. Hopefully in the future we’ll be able to rectify that as well.”

Council members recommended the pay increase after reviewing Miller’s performance and examining a direct comparison of local communities’ pay criteria from OML-based on other similar cities of similar structure, McEachern said.

In his closing comments at the end of Tuesday night’s meeting, Yukon’s mayor thanked both Crosby and Miller for their service.

“This year was an opportunity for us to heal certainly a lot of ‘old wounds’, if you will, and bring things back,” he said. “The City of Yukon is in very good financial health. We’ve restored all of our major accounts everywhere and things are in order. We have an auditing process that’s significantly better than it ever has been. We have a greater level of transparency than we have ever had.”