2019 State of the City - Beth Cheeks 1 tw.jpg

Talladega City Manager Beth Cheeks gives her first state of the city address. The event unfolded at The Ritz Theatre on Tuesday night. 

TALLADEGA -- Talladega City Manager Beth Cheeks received excellent evaluation scores from the council and will be receiving a pay raise as a result. The vote on the pay raise was 4 to 1, with Councilman David Street casting the dissenting vote.

Councilman Jarvis Elston, who designed the evaluation form, said Cheeks was rated from 5 (excellent) to 1 (unsatisfactory) across seven categories, with two of those categories divided into four subcategories.

Her overall average score was 4.32 out of a possible 5.

Her average scores (individual councilmen’s scores were not included), ranged from 4.12 (leadership with government entities and media and personnel organization management) to 4.5 (Organizational management for community and economic development and communication). Average scores were rounded to two decimal places, Elston said.

Elston thanked Councilman Gerald Cooper who helped design the evaluation, and city attorney Mike O’Brien for “compiling it and, not to sound like Jethro, but deciphering it.”

O’Brien had taken the individual forms from each of the council members and calculated the averages used in the final report.

Street said his major problem with the evaluation was that an unsatisfactory rating should result in a score of 0, not 1. Street would not go into any specifics about his evaluation of Cheeks. 

Cheeks was named permanent city manager in October. The evaluation dates from that period.

“This shows that she is in the driver’s seat of moving this city where we want it to be,” Elston said. He then made a motion to give Cheek’s a raise, which was seconded by Councilman Ricky Simpson.

“Congratulations, we appreciate all you’ve done,” Simpson added.

Street cast the only no vote.

As provided in her contract, Cheeks’ base salary is $116,000 per year, which Elston said was competitive with surrounding cities, and which is also the same amount former city manager Patrick Bryant was paid after his job description was changed to include industrial recruitment.

Cheeks’ initial salary as permanent city manager was $100,000.