Hamilton City Manager gets bonus, raise after evaluation

Hamilton City Manager Joshua Smith will receive a 5 percent bonus in January and a 2 percent raise after his most recent evaluation, which officials say underlines the steps he and his staff are taking to improve the city.

The evaluation by the mayor and other six members of Hamilton City Council uses a format accepted by the International City/County Management Association. It grades Smith annually on each of 10 categories, including policy execution, citizen relations and fiscal management. He is judged using a scale of 1-5, in which 1 is “clearly unsatisfactory” and 5 represents “clearly outstanding.”

To receive the 5 percent bonus, Smith had to average a 4.5. His average was 4.828, so he earned the 5 percent bonus, in the amount of $10,395. His base salary will increase to $212,058 from $207,900

“The continued remarkable contributions that he brings to our city, for all residents, all businesses, the future of our city, certainly bring him the well-deserved raise,” said Council Member Tim Naab, a leader of council’s evaluation process.

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The 2 percent cost-of-living increase was in line with other general fund employees, Naab said. Smith receives a cost-of-living boost in addition to his bonus because otherwise his salary would not rise.

“His energy, his vision, his collaboration with so many different entities certainly brings our city a breath of new life and opportunity for the future,” Naab said.

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Smith just finished his eighth year with the city. Beginning each year in about June, the council starts his evaluations so the work and his bonus are determined by his work anniversary.

“We have had many accomplishments/recognitions in Hamilton during my eight years as city manager, but I am convinced our best years are still coming,” Smith wrote in an email.

“Mayor (Pat) Moeller and City Council have been great at ‘planning the work, working the plan.’ My proudest accomplishment has been playing a part in building a team of employees who will always strive to be a high-performing organization, that are customer-centric and ‘own-the-outcome.’”

The council also bumped up his potential bonuses for future years. Starting with his evaluation next summer, if he receives an average between 4 and 4.5, the bonus will be 4 percent. If it is between 4.5 and 4.8, the bonus will be 5 percent. If it is 4.80 or more, the bonus will be 6 percent.

His overall average each of the past two years has exceeded the 4.8 level.

“It now will become 4 percent, 5 percent or 6 percent, based on how we score Joshua next June, when we start this process all over again,” Naab said.

Here are the overall average scores Smith received in recent years, on the 1-5 scale:

  • 4.62 in 2015;
  • 4.78 in 2016;
  • 4.91 in 2017; and
  • 4.828 this year.
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“We know he has calls from solicitors from recruiters who recruit professional city managers,” Naab said. “He has a good name for himself throughout the United States. We wish to keep him.”

Hamilton has burnished its reputation across the state and nation in recent years, redeveloping its downtown and Main Street business districts and also nearing a development agreement with Pennsylvania-based Spooky Nook Sports for the proposed Spooky Nook at Champion Mill gigantic indoor sports complex and convention center in the former Champion Paper mill along North B Street.

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His staff fostered creation of downtown’s new Marcum Park, which recently was named one of five great public spaces in America by the American Planning Association. That park helped attract the adjacent Marcum project of apartments, restaurants and shops. Those apartments, about 60 percent rented, recently began occupancy.

Positive grades for the city manager

Here are the averages of grades members of Hamilton City Council gave City Manager Joshua Smith recently in deciding to give him a 5 percent raise this year in various categories they use to judge him. The ratings are on a 5-point scale, under which a 1 is “clearly unsatisfactory”; 2 is “below standards”; 3 is “meets standards”; 4 is “exceeds standards”; and 5 is “clearly outstanding”:

  • Individual Characteristics: 4.82.
  • Professional Skills & Status: 4.96.
  • Relations with Elected Members of the Governing Body: 4.8.
  • Policy Execution: 4.86.
  • Reporting (to Council): 4.78.
  • Citizen Relations: 4.94.
  • (Management of) Staffing: 4.6.
  • Supervision (of Staff): 4.82.
  • Fiscal Management: 4.82.
  • Community (Relations): 4.88.
  • AVERAGE: 4.828

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