The Petersburg City Council unanimously approved a renewal contract for Petersburg City Manager, Steve Giesbrecht, during its regular meeting Monday evening.
The current contract held an annual salary of $105,000 and with the renewal, Giesbrecht’s salary would increase to $108,675 with a 3.5 percent salary increase.
Another change proposed by the renewal is a severance package increasing from six to nine months of salary should Giesbrecht be terminated from his position with the City.
This renewal will also provide an annual family membership to the Petersburg Aquatic Center and Gym Facility.
Council member Don Koenigs made an amendment to the renewal and suggested that the original six months severance package would be sufficient should the City terminate.
“Six months salary adds up to be $54,337.50 and nine months is $81,506.25,” Koenigs stated. “I feel six months severance is more than adequate.”
The council decided, by unanimous vote, that the severance package would remain at six months.
Another amendment was made by Council member Sue Flint to decrease the 3.5 percent annual increase to 2 percent.
“This is in not way a reflection on anything you are doing,” Flint stated. “I am thrilled with your performance, but I think that for future negotiations, the two percent will be a better increase.”
Koenigs then stated he would be more inclined to raise the percentage to five percent. “I feel he has done an exceptional job,” he said. “If you look at what this council has done under his recommendations I am willing to let the increase stand at 3.5 percent.”
Newly appointed Council member John Hoag weighed in on the issue as well.
“When you compare this with what is done with other municipal employees, they usually receive a combination cost of living increase with a step increase as well,” Hoag stated. “We do not have step increases for the manager position.”
Hoag also explained that he has dealt with the City Manager on a number of occasions and he feels the 3.5 percent is a fair increase and would not undercut any other salary negotiations.
“This city is very lucky to have Manager Giesbrecht.” Hoag stated.
Vice Mayor Mark Jensen also stated he is in favor of the set increase.
“I agree with the 3.5 percent increase,” Jensen said. “I know he has only been here a year, but if you compare his raised salary, he is still below some employees in the City and I think Mr. Giesbrecht is well worth the raise.”