Star Valley Council Still Reviewing Town Manager Contract

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The Star Valley Council tabled a decision Tuesday night to vote for a town manager contract.

The council listened to a presentation by Town Attorney Timothy Grier on the town manager contract that was sent to the Town of Star Valley by candidate Vito Tedeschi. The contract was modeled after a template put out by the International City Manager's Association.

Grier modified the ICMA contract, and the council received a first glimpse of the changes on Tuesday.

Tedeschi has not yet seen the modified version of the contract.

The members of the Star Valley Council will review the contract and gave recommendations to Grier. Grier will enter those recommendations into the contract before sending it to Tedeschi for review.

The major portion of the contract the council discussed Tuesday night was the severance package the town manager would receive if he were to be terminated before the end of the contract.

The ICMA version stated that the town manager would be paid for the balance of time left over on the two-year contract. The council favors a three-month severance package, and Grier said the manager candidate has agreed to that provision. The severance package would include three months of salary, plus any paid time-off hours he may have accumulated.

Mayor Chuck Heron said he realizes the urgency in selecting a new town manager.

"I recognize we are under time constraints," he said. "I hesitate for us to act on or approve this contract." But, he said, Tedeschi must have a chance to review the amended contract.

"It's a little premature to act on this," Heron said. "This is really the first step, to look at the ICMA's model and make some changes."

Councilor Bill Heath said one thing that concerns him is there is no mention of terminating the town manager for poor job performance.

Grier mentioned that Arizona is an at-will state when it comes to employment, meaning an employee may be terminated for whatever reason without consequence.

Tedeschi told the Star Valley Council he could start working for the town on Nov. 6.

The council will schedule a meeting for next week to vote on whether or not to approve the contract.

In other news, the Star Valley Council:

  • Removed Town Clerk Sarah Luckie from probationary status.
  • Had a public hearing to discuss possible projects for the fiscal-year community development block grant application, expected to be between $130,000 and $140,000.
  • Tabled the vote on whether to adopt the Brooke Utility license agreement since the company has not had a chance to review the agreement.
  • Approved changing the Nov. 7 council meeting to Nov. 9 since the location and date of the meeting is the same place as the town's polling place.

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