Laura Gourley, interim city administrator, told Gardner city council at the Oct. 1, 2018, meeting that there have been multiple inquiries about former administrator Cheryl Harrison-Lee’s payout.
Gourley said beginning with the severance package of $260,000, approximately $86,000 was vacation pay which is shown as a liability and not budgeted for. She said through the end of the year, everything is taken care of.
Gourley also said $260,000 – $86,000 in 2019 is $117,000 that could be recovered in salary savings, which occur each year due to turnover. She said that $57,000 is not covered through the end of 2019, but that every month spent with an interim city administrator represents a savings of approximately $12,000. She said there is also salary savings from the senior management analyst position which will not be backfilled while Matt Wolff is serving as interim finance director. She said given all of this, the amount is immaterial.
The amount Harrison-Lee will receive for COBRA – health premiums – was not mentioned.
Randy Gregorcyk, councilman, asked for the expected cost of an interview team and a headhunter for the city administrator position. Alan Abramovitz, human resources manager, stated the charge for a search firm is typically 30 – 35 percent of the first year’s salary. Harrison-Lee was paid about $161,000 annually and resigned Sept. 10.
Gregorcyk asked if the 120 day plan for the interim city administrator had been completed. Shute stated some of this was privileged information.