City Manager Mike Wildgen will get a 3 percent pay increase, Lawrence city commissioners decided Wednesday.
During his annual evaluation at city hall, Wildgen learned he would be paid $94,708 this year. The 3 percent raise equals the same general wage increase rate afforded most other city employees for 1996.
Commissioners will formally approve Wildgen's raise Tuesday night.
"We think Mike has been doing a very good job in running a very efficient and effective organization," Mayor Bob Moody said after the closed-door evaluation, which lasted two hours. "We're pleased with the staff and the ability of the staff, and that's a reflection of the manager."
As the city's top administrator, Wildgen puts into practice the policies set by the commission and oversees daily operations of the city, from administrative services to utilities. He hires all department heads and, indirectly, all 535 city employees.
Wildgen accepted the commissioners' support in context.
"It's a review of the whole organization, and they were complimentary of the staff and the work of many of the city employees," said Wildgen, who's been working at city hall since 1974. "It's a good reflection on the whole organization."
As directed a year ago, Wildgen has improved communications with the public, Moody said, and is moving ahead with plans to hire a communications coordinator for the city.
For the future, commissioners asked Wildgen to prepare staff responses to complicated consultants' reports. The "cheat sheets" will help commissioners understand the history behind issues and possible decisions that lie ahead.
The area's new comprehensive land-use plan, Horizon 2020, is an example of one forthcoming report that should include a staff memo, Moody said.
"What we're asking him to do is make our jobs a little bit easier," Moody said.