City Council, by an 8-2 vote, increased City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz’s salary by 2% to $210,206.20 per year. The vote took place on Oct.10, and the increase is effective retroactive to Jan. 1 of this year. In addition, Council reduced the amount of the home loan owed by Mr. Bobkiewicz to the City from $190,000 to $180,0000, in effect a $10,000 bonus.
According to a memo from Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl to the members of the City Council, “The City Council and I gave the City Manager an outstanding performance review. Mr. Bobkiewicz received particular praise during this evaluation for his communication skills, creativity, transparency and ability to build partnerships in the community.”
Additional benefits carried over from the previous contract include a $500 monthly car allowance ($6,000 per year), a $10,000 annual contribution to a qualified tax deferred plan, life insurance providing twice his annual salary as a benefit, Rotary Club membership including weekly meals, and health and dental coverage for Mr. Bobkiewicz and his spouse and dependents.
The contract can be terminated at any time by Council, but “If Bobkiewicz’s employment is terminated by action of the City, Bobkiewicz shall receive a lump sum of cash payment in the amount of nine months of base salary,” or $157,654.65.
The City also agreed to “defend, save harmless and indemnify Bobkiewicz against any tort, professional liability claim or demand or other legal action, whether groundless or otherwise, arising out of an alleged act or omission occurring in the performance of Mr. Bobkiewicz’s duties as City Manager or resulting from the exercise of judgment or discretion in connection with the performance of program duties or responsibilities …”
Evanston hired Mr. Bobkiewicz in August 2009 at an initial salary of $185,000 per year. His salary has increased steadily ever since.
The measure passed out of the Administration and Public Works Committee by a narrow 3-2 vote, with Aldermen Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward and Brian Miller, 9th Ward, voting no. Ald. Miller called the raise a “substantial increase” with the $10,000 loan reduction taken into account.
At full Council, the resolution authorizing the mayor to enter the contract passed by an 8-2 vote, with the Mayor adding a yes vote to the seven aldermanic yeses and with with Alds. Miller and Braithwaite again voting no.