Independence hires city manager



INDEPENDENCE — Independence City Council gave a positive evaluation to Tom Pessemier, city manager, in an executive session on Jan. 28, and is researching a compensation increase.

“We are uniformly very happy with his performance,” said Mayor John McArdle after returning to regular session. “The thing we want to say is, ‘Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re doing good stuff and we’re happy with what you’re doing.’”

Pessemier started in the position in December of 2018 at an annual salary of $122,500.

“Frequently at evaluation time, there is consideration of compensation adjustments for the city manager,” McArdle said. “We can have that discussion here, as to what you’d like to do. It ranges from doing nothing, to doing a study, to making a compensation adjustment.”

Councilor Kathy Martin-Willis said she’d like to see a survey of city manager salaries for cities of comparable size or slightly larger.

Councilor Shannon Corr concurred.

“I think we just did that a year ago when we hired Tom,” said Councilor Tom Takacs.

He said he thinks the market is a little higher.

The salary range listed in the city’s recruitment materials in 2018 was $120,000 to $140,000.

The city of Monmouth is searching for a city manager. That salary range is listed as $125,000 to $140,500.

Councilor Marilyn Morton made a motion to give Pessemier a 5 percent increase. Takacs seconded.

Corr and Martin-Willis said they had not seen the salary data the recruitment firm provided in 2018.

After some discussion, McArdle asked to table the motion until he can research with a human resources staff person comparable city manager salaries.

Morton was agreeable as long as the process was complete within 30 days.

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