Mount Pleasant officials release city manager contract details

During the 30th Annual Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribal Powwow, a child shares a moment with another member of the tribe on Saturday, July 26, 2014 in Mount Pleasant, MICH.

Nancy Ridley was voted in as Mount Pleasant's newest city manager on June 25, yet was officially handed the mantle on Monday after the City Commission approved the specifics of her contract.

Ridley will earn a yearly salary of $120,000 in the same intervals as regular full-time city management employees, according to the contract. She will also receive an annual residency incentive of $4,000 beginning July 2015.

Ridley can also receive a compensation bonus payment based on her performance and the accomplishment of stated objectives. Awarding this bonus would depend on commissioners' assessment of Ridley, would only be given as a one-time payment and will not be added as extra dollars in her salary. The contract does not disclose how much Ridley could receive in bonus payments.

The section regarding Ridley's compensation came under fire at Monday's meeting as Commissioner Kathleen Ling voted against the approval of her contract.

Ridley must submit her first set of goals to the commission by Oct. 1. The CMU graduate and longtime city employee must also provide a performance evaluation mechanism to the commission by that date, as well.

Commissioners will then complete the evaluations and turn them over to Mayor Sharon Tilmann by Oct. 20. Beginning in 2015, the city will review Ridley's performance on an annual basis.

She will also be entitled to several employee benefits programs such as a pension, deferred compensation, medical and dental insurance plan or any other program dictated by the Professional Administrative Confidential and Technical Employee (PACT) plan.

The city will contribute six percent of Ridley's salary to the differed compensation plan annually "for the benefit of Ms. Ridley." She is also required to work with the city's human resources department to investigate potential combined paid time off practices as a replacement for vacation time within the first 12 months of the contract.

Ridley's contract describes her as an "at will" employee. If Ridley chooses to resign, she must give 45-days advance written notice to commissioners. On the condition of commissioners accepting her resignation, Ridley will receive 45-days worth of salary payments and benefits.

If terminated without cause as dictated by the City Commission, Ridley can still receive severance pay equal to six months of salary payments and benefits. The payments will be reduced if she finds employment elsewhere within 180 days – the payments will become completely void if she finds a job with a salary that is equal to the $120,000 she will receive through the city.

If terminated with cause, Ridley will not receive severance payment. Termination causes can include: Conviction or a plea of guilty or no contest to a felony, violation of the ICMA Code of Ethics, misconduct during or outside the course of employment, fraud or embezzlement, neglect and dishonesty. Ridley must also be able to pass drug and alcohol tests throughout the course of her employment.

Mount Pleasant will pay Ridley's membership dues to the International City/Council Management Association, Michigan Local Government Management Association and one additional group of Ridley's choice.

Ridley will also receive several electronic devices to aide her job duties including a laptop, cell phone and internet connection at her personal address. These items are shall be used for business and "occasional" personal use.

Check back with for more stories on Mount Pleasant's City Commission.


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