Raise amendment to city manager’s contract to be considered

By Frank Lewis - flewis@civitasmedia.com

If and when the city of Portsmouth begins to start giving raises to it’s employees, Portsmouth City Manager Derek K. Allen will be in line. Portsmouth City Council is considering a measure authorizing amendments to Allen’s employment agreement. While the points to changing the agreement are varied, one stands out from all the others.

In Section 3 under the title “Compensation,” the following wording is found in part E – “If or when raises are given, the employer agrees to provide employee the same across the board increase that other employees receive. Change in classification pay will not be considered across the board.”

At the last Portsmouth City Council meeting, the amendments were brought up for future consideration and the item was listed as a first reading ordinance on the Jan. 23, 2017 agenda. During the initial consideration, considerable conversation surrounded the issue.

“We’ve already agreed in our contract to provide and reimburse him for other ICMA (International City Managers Association) activities. This is the last one of that ladder that I see, am I correct?” First Ward Councilman Kevin W. Johnson asked. He was told her was correct. “Then I think it should be approved.”

Johnson moved that fiscal year 2017 be eliminated from that agreement.

“In my initial review of these, I will go ahead and tell you up front, I don’t foresee me having a problem with it,” Fifth Ward Councilman Gene Meadows said. “I like the fact that it can give us some incentive to give our employees raises, but I think we’re premature in doing it until we at least go over the evaluations from last year. So if I vote no that’s my reasoning.”

City Solicitor John Haas said the amendment would just be placed on the agenda and council would have three readings before any decision is made and during that period of time the evaluations would be discussed.

“We’ll have it done in plenty of time,” Kevin W. Johnson said.

“Kevin (W) took the words right out of my mouth,” Third Ward Councilman Kevin E. Johnson said. “I was going to suggest I agree with Councilman Meadows, but if we go ahead and approve this tonight and just move on, we’ve got three readings and I’m like you (Meadows) I’d like to go over this (evaluation) before we enact this (contract amendment), but we might as well get the ball rolling.”

“We’ve got all year,” Meadows said.

By Frank Lewis


Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.