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6/25/2012 11:03:00 AM
Chino Valley expected to appoint Smith from interim to official town manager
Interim Town Manager Robert Smith
Interim Town Manager Robert Smith
Matt Santos
Reporter

The Chino Valley Town Council is expected to appoint Interim Town Manager Robert Smith to the official position during the council's next meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, June 26 at 6 p.m.

Smith, who began his interim position this past Feb. when former Town Manager Michael Scannell resigned, was selected from a pool of five finalists, provided by Interim Public Management, LLC, who served as consultant in the selection process.

Smith made it clear from his initial interview that he was hoping for a long-term offer when his six-month interim contract expired.

"I told the council I didn't want to be the interim unless I have a shot at the permanent position," said Smith in an interview just a few days into his interim position. "I don't want to be a chair warmer. The town has serious business that they need to get conducted and it needs to be done well. I'm not the kind of guy that's going to come in and just hold down the fort. I want to move forward. The taxpayers deserve that."

Town council finalized employment agreement negotiations during a special meeting held in chambers Tuesday, June 19, itemizing the compensation package for the proposed three-year contract that is scheduled to begin August 2012.

The agreement included the standard vacation accrual for all town new hires, and an annual base pay of $120,000 for three years. Also included was an additional 40 hours of vacation time that will become effective upon Smith's appointment.

"On the initiation of the contract, if I were to get sick or something I wouldn't have any leave time to use, and that's the only reason I asked for the 40 hours on signing of the agreement," Smith said during the special meeting. "If I got sick or had to go out of town for a funeral or something I would have hours to cover that."

During the public comment portion of the meeting, local resident and frequent council meeting attendee Marti Klein spoke to the council, stating that the $120,000 salary appeared to be in line with similar positions in the state.

"I did a little research online prior to coming to this meeting to find out what is standard and what is reasonable in the state of Arizona," said Klein. "The League of Arizona Cities and Towns has done an extensive study on the different salaries and it seams that (this agreement) is very much in line with comparable towns."

Also commenting on the $120,000, Mayor Chris Marley stated that while some may look at that figure as being high, he advises the public to view the tasks expected of the position.

"We are at a critical stage as a town and we need someone who will be able to handle the challenge and stick around for a while," said Marley. "There are a few things I won't bargain on. I won't buy my parachute at a discount store and I won't take a low bid from my heart surgeon. The position of town manager is vital to the survival of our town. We need to get the best possible person for our town."

The final discussion on the agreement will take place at the June 26 council meeting, 6 p.m. in council chambers located at 202 N. Highway 89.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, November 9, 2012
Article comment by: Addie Barr

120,000$ for a small town position is ludicrous!! Our Governor gets less time off and makes 90,000$ a year. Someone needs to list what he is supposed to do for this kind of money. If Chino Valley is so short of revenue, everyone needs to take a salary cut.......I am so over small town government has anyone ever heard of Bellflower, CA???

Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Article comment by: Just the Facts

1. The manager's salary range was set by the Town's Personnel Compensation and Class Study - which officially establishes salary ranges for all positions in Town. The study was based on almost a dozen other towns in Arizona that are similar to the Town of Chino Valley. The manager's contracted salary is positioned in the middle of the Plan's range for that job.

2. If the Town does not change how it operates, it will not have enough money in 2015 to continue what it's doing now. Fortunately there's enough time to plan well and make appropriate changes - and the manager and Council are beginning that effort now.

3. The Town has cut about 40 jobs over the last 5-6 years -- that's a little over 30% of it's personnel.

4. Of the 70% of the staff that's left, they all took a 10% cut in pay 5 years ago that has remained in effect.

5. A Town of 10,000 (offering the services the Town of Chino Valley offers) should have about 100 employees -- Chino Valley has a little over 80 employees.

6. The Town Manager accrues 2 weeks vacation and just over 2 weeks sick leave per year, just like all other new employees of the town. One (1) week of leave was advanced at the signing of the manager's contract, in case he needs to take time off. In six months he will have accrued that week.

7. The funds for the boom truck came from money that could only be spent on capital equipment for public works -- it could not have been used for something else.

8. Information about Mr. Smith can be found here -- http://www.linkedin.com/in/anvilpartners and here -- http://www.anvilpartners.net/Pages/default.aspx

9. Mr. Smith indicated in a public meeting and for the record that his private business pursuits would only occur on his personal time off, and that he was willing to be accessible to the Town's officials 24X7 via his cell phone, regardless of his personal time off.

10. A few things Mr. Smith has done in the last 5 months: (1) Mr. Smith secured a $330,000 lump sum payment from the cell site on town property, to help cut this year's budget gap in half, (2) Mr. Smith is also serving as the Development Services Director, and is changing how the Town supports and helps businesses through licensing and permitting challenges -- Chino Valley is a business friendly town, and wants to support those that are working to create jobs (3) Mr. Smith negotiated the resolution of 2 longstanding conflicts between the Town and BrightStar (4) Mr. Smith is creating financial reporting to help the Town determine where fees and state revenues aren't covering operating costs of specific departments and programs -- so the Town can take action and be more efficient. (5) Mr. Smith has begun working with a grant writer to secure additional funding and create agency relationships to support many of the programs that the Town offers its citizens (like Parks & Rec, Pool, Senior Center, Transit).



Posted: Friday, July 6, 2012
Article comment by: MIKE B.

MAYBE WE NEED TO REACTIVEATE OUR
CITIZENS WATCH DOG COMMETTI.
THER IS JUST SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE PICTURE WHEN YOU HAVE A GOOD BUSINESS PRODUCING REVINUE AND INTURN PAYING TAXES TO A CITY THAT SAYS IS SHORT TAX RECIEPTS AND THEY PUT HIM OUT OF BUSINESS, WRONG. IF YOU DRIVE SOUTH ON 89 YOU SEE MORE FOR SALE OR FOR LEASE OR RENT THAN OPEN FOR BUSINESS.
COULD BE TIME TO REPLACE THE CITY COUNCIL WITH YOUNGER AND MORE PRO-GROTH VISION WITH OUT THE SMALL TOWN BLINDERS ON. REMEMBER AAA TRAVEL BOOK or ARIZONA HIGH WAYS GHOST TOWNS PAST AND PRESANT


Posted: Thursday, July 5, 2012
Article comment by: Really ?

Keep in mind, Chino Valley residents those 40 days are business days not weekends or holidays. So while we all feel we are paying our Town Manager to much money to run our little town, know that for his month and half off with pay he will be running his own company making even more money. There is something wrong with this picture

Posted: Monday, July 2, 2012
Article comment by: MIKE B.

AS A MATTER OF PUBLIC INFORMATION JAN BREWER OUR GOVENORS YEARLY BASE SALERY IS $ 93,000.00. SURE SEEMS TO BE AN INBALLANCE HERE.

Posted: Saturday, June 30, 2012
Article comment by: Kim Txpyer

Wow. The last census was 11,182 people living in Chino Valley. Klein, when you said you did a "little" research - you were not fibbing. $120k to be the town manager??? Really?

How about being transparent and showing us what Smith's credentials are. Where did he come from? What is his experience? And also, how about showing us what the 'tasks' actually are? You state that you advise us to view the tasks he is expected of in this position that pays $120k. No problem, please share them with us.


Posted: Saturday, June 30, 2012
Article comment by: Jo Kerr

The town says it is broke although they seem to have one of the highest paid management teams that I know of in the state. $75,000-120,000 for a finance manager, 120,000 for a Town manager and the public works director is making hmm about the same, and can pretty much spend the town's money on whatever he feels neccessary and council does not question the purchase! $45,000 dollars for a 18ft used boom truck purchased in Texas! Hello Maybe someone should invest in some riding lessons so they can finally grab hold of the reins and slow this horse down. Can anyone tell me three things the town manager has enhanced or improved thus far while in office?

Posted: Monday, June 25, 2012
Article comment by: Joseph Txpyer

All Town employees are entitled to various types of leave, some accrued and some not. There is a policy in force for bereavement leave and the ability to "borrow" sick leave. And it seems to me that anyone earning $120,00+ per year could afford to take a few days off "without pay". It all seems like a time-wasting excuse.

As for the Mayor's argument, we have all heard that before over the years, while never really seeming to receive good value for the amount we have paid. From outright crooks to public professionals filling out their time-in-service hours it always seems the same. Someone making a pile of money form this little so-called rural town out in the boonies. And we are always "at a critical stage as a town."




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