City manager gets a raise

Kim Kiefer has been city manager since April 2012. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

In a 7-2 vote, the CBJ assembly approved a three percent pay increase for city manager Kim Kiefer. That means Kiefer will be getting an annual salary of $149,350 with benefits retroactively effective April 1, 2013.

The merit increase was put forward by the city manager evaluation subcommittee made up of Mayor Merrill Sanford and assembly members Karen Crane and Carlton Smith.

Part of the committee’s recommendation is based on an evaluation process conducted by the CBJ human resources department.

“A 360-degree leadership evaluation allows the person being evaluated to see themselves from a variety of different angles,” explained human resources director Mila Cosgrove.

She said CBJ department directors, other city employees who directly report to the city manager, several community members outside city government who deal with the city manager, and assembly members were invited to anonymously fill out a survey.

It touched on five broad categories – professional competence, personal effectiveness, results orientation, interpersonal effectiveness, and organizational effectiveness. Examples of survey questions include how well Kiefer sets clear direction that aligns her team with the city’s strategy, and how well Kiefer fosters energy, enthusiasm, and commitment. Ratings were based on a 1-5 scale, 1 being poor, 5 outstanding.

Cosgrove said Kiefer also filled out the evaluation.

“The survey itself, you can take a look at and you can slice and dice it and you can say, ‘Well, here’s an overall rating of everybody who answered this question. Here’s how you rated yourself, here’s how your direct reports related to you in relationship to that question, etc.,’ so you get to see how different people view you.”

Cosgrove said the 360-degree survey is just part of the process to evaluate the city manager. The assembly also discussed the evaluation with Kiefer during executive session last month.

“It’s not only a look back but ideally an evaluation is a look forward, a chance to set goals and objectives and talk about what worked well last year, what might be tweaked, and how can everybody work most effectively moving forward.”

The evaluation process was one of three reasons cited by assembly member Randy Wanamaker for objecting to the merit pay increase.

“The evaluation process was flawed. There were issues identified in the evaluation that are not satisfactorily addressed by the suggestions for an improvement plan, and the improvement plan itself is so unclear, that it is neither fair to the citizens of the community, the assembly, or to the city manager,” he said.

Assembly member Jerry Nankervis also objected, but would not discuss his reasons in public.

Kiefer has been CBJ city manager since April 2012. Before that, she served seven years as deputy city manager and was acting manager for six months in 2009.

As city manager, Kiefer serves at the pleasure of the assembly and does not have a contract.

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