Middletown City Council is expected to significantly raise the city manager’s salary at its meeting Tuesday.
Mayor Larry Mulligan said council will amend its contract with City Manager Doug Adkins to raise his salary from $125,000 to $150,000 a year.
In addition, over the next four years, Adkins will receive annual increases of $5,000 along with additional contributions toward his Ohio Public Employee Retirement System retirement account. Mulligan said the other provisions of Adkins’ contract will remain the same.
“After reviewing the progress made over the last two years, council agreed that a new contract was needed,” Mulligan said.
A survey of compensation for city managers in the area and in similar-sized cities showed Adkins’ pay was behind median averages, according to Mulligan.
“Mr. Adkins’ progress and performance warrants an adjustment to reflect the value of the position and to recognize the contributions he has made to our progress,” Mulligan said, adding that city council will continue to review Adkins’ performance and make adjustments as necessary.
COMMENTARY: Adkins right manager to lead Middletown
Among the successes over the past two years that council and Mulligan cited were the new AK Steel Research and Innovation Center, NTE’s new $600 million natural gas fired power plant, the development of new apartments on Towne Boulevard, improvements of the Towne Mall Galleria and the opening of new businesses downtown.
Council also cited the quality of life improvements such as fireworks on the Fourth of July, the establishment of the Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area downtown, new downtown concerts, and improvements of the city’s appearance through beautification and code enforcement.
Crime, including serious crime and thefts, are also down, according to council.
When Adkins applied for the position, he presented council with a five-year plan to return the city to sustainable revenues.
“Two years in, he has done what he said he would do, and we look forward to finishing the five-year plan under his leadership,” Mulligan said.
Other council members agreed.
Councilman Tal Moon said council is appreciative of the job Adkins has done during his first two years as city manager and should be compensated similar to his peers in the region.
Moon also cited the reductions in serious crime and thefts, improvements at Towne Mall Galleria, momentum downtown, and new commercial development on the east end of town.
“There’s no question there’s still a lot of work to be done,” Moon said. “Mr. Adkins is and will be a large part of that process.”
Councilman Steve Bohannon said all five council members were in agreement about raising Adkins’ salary.
“He’s taken us to a new level and he’s taking us even further,” Bohannon said. “All the new things and with his five-year plan, he’s followed through on what he said he was going to do…. and with the growth in the past two years, we felt it was justified and have his pay comparable to other city managers. We’re all in agreement and we stand behind it.”
Councilman Dan Picard said Adkins was being paid significantly below where he should be and said he’d be an attractive candidate for a similar position elsewhere.
“We want to retain him and the raise is justified based on his performance,” Picard said. “We’re going to get criticized, but I think it’s the right thing to do.”
Vice Mayor Dora Bronston could not be reached for comment.