Cheryl Harrison-Lee

Cheryl Harrison-Lee

Gardner has scheduled a special council meeting Dec. 30 to discuss the city administrator’s contract. Because the purpose of the meeting is to discuss nonelected personnel, the council will recess into closed session.
Under the terms of Cheryl Harrison-Lee’s contract, it will automatically renew unless the council informs her otherwise. Because she is a finalist for the Lawrence city manager position, it makes sense for the council to get together, said Mayor Chris Morrow.
“Her contract will automatically renew in March, unless informed otherwise by the first of the year,” Morrow said. Beyond that, Morrow declined comment.
Under the terms of the March 2013 contract, base salary at that time was about $124,000; with successful performance evaluations base salary would be increased 7 percent in 2014, 6 percent in 2015 and 6 percent in 2016. Harrison-Lee was also eligible for an annual bonus of 5 percent of base salary. Base salary does not include auto allowance, professional dues or pension.
Harrison-Lee, Gardner city administrator, was recently named one of three top finalists for the Lawrence city manager position.
Although the Lawrence commission hired a new city manager in mid December while in executive session, they are withholding the name until salary negotiations are final. Once negotiations are complete, the new city manager’s contract must be approved during a public meeting..
The Lawrence commission did not meet as regularly scheduled Dec. 22 due to the holidays, and the next regularly scheduled meeting was Dec. 29, although the city manager contract did not appear on the agenda at press time.
Harrison-Lee has been in Gardner since 2012. Harrison-Lee started her career in municipal government in 1984 in Gainesville, Fla. She earned degrees from the University of Florida and Universaity of South Carolina and has served in the local governments of Orlando, Daytona Beach and Ormond Beach — all in Florida.
According to an article in the Lawrence Journal World, Lawrence Mayor Mike Amyx said that three names rose to the top of the application list including Harrison-Lee.
Other finalists finalists are: Roderick “Rod” Bremby of Glastonbury, Conn.; and Thomas “Tom” Markus of Iowa City, Iowa. Bremby is a commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Social Services and Markus is the city manager of Iowa City.
“I can’t say enough about the really, really good people who have opted to step up and ask to go through the process,” Mayor Mike Amyx is quoted in th LJ World article as saying. “We had quite a bit of discussion, and there are truly three names that rose to the top.” Arrangements will be made for the finalists to come to Lawrence for final interviews.
Finalists met with department directors and city manager staff to tour city facilities on December 17 and there was a public reception for Lawrence residents to meet the candidates.
Dec. 18 Lawrence city commissioners held final interviews with the candidates in a closed executive session; however, the name of the successful candidate had not been released at press time.