Lawrence City Hall’s top executive received high praise from city commissioners during his annual review Monday, but won’t receive a higher salary.
Mayor Mike Amyx said commissioners were pleased with the performance of City Manager David Corliss in 2010, but didn’t feel the economic climate made a raise in Corliss’ $130,000 base salary appropriate.
“But I can’t say enough good things about the job he is doing for the community,” Amyx said. “There are a number of positive things that have Dave’s thumbprints on them.”
Commissioners met for about two hours Monday afternoon in executive session to discuss Corliss’ performance. Afterward, Amyx listed several issues the group felt Corliss had handled well. The included:
• Balancing the city’s 2010 budget without calling for a property tax increase, and without making major reductions to city services;
• Acquiring the former Farmland Industries fertilizer plant and beginning the process of converting it into a business park;
• Providing leadership on economic development issues that included the startup of the new bioscience and technology incubator in West Lawrence and the attraction of Plastikon Industries to the East Hills Business Park.
Amyx declined to list any specific areas that the commission asked Corliss to improve upon in 2011.
The commission is expected to publicly review Corliss’ employment contract in the coming weeks. Commissioners are expected to consider contract changes that would increase the city’s contribution to Corliss’ deferred compensation retirement fund by $1,500 a year, bringing the new total to $16,500 per year. The commission also will consider allowing Corliss to cash out some of his vacation hours that have gone unused. Specific details of the contract changes will be presented on a future City Commission agenda.
Corliss said he appreciated the entire commission’s support. He said 2010 had been a challenging year on the economic front, but praised city employees for their efforts in dealing with reduced revenues.
“I feel like we have worked well as a team during some of the most difficult financial conditions we’ve experienced,” Corliss said.
As the city’s top executive, Corliss oversees 760 full-time employee positions. He was appointed city manager in 2006, but has been with the city in various management positions since 1990.