PELL CITY – The city council unanimously approved a contract at a special called meeting Thursday for the new city manager, Werner “Brian” Muenger.
Muenger is currently Talladega's city manager, but the administrator interviewed for the vacant city manager’s position in Pell City, and the council unanimously approved to move forward with hiring him.
Muenger, who attended Thursday’s meeting, said he would give his official notice to the Talladega City Council when it met late Thursday.
According to the contract, Muenger will start out making $112,507 annually under Step 17 for the position. Muenger will also receive and be eligible for the same across-the-board raises and fringe benefits as all other city employees.
Muenger currently makes $100,000 as the city manager for Talladega.
In accordance with the contract approved Thursday, Muenger will have 20 days of annual vacation leave and is provided 96 hours of annual sick leave, which he will accrue at a rate of eight hours a month.
The city will furnish Muenger with a vehicle and provide him a $100-a-month allowance for a cell phone.
His contract is only valid through the next two years, or for the remaining term of the current sitting council. The new council will decide if Muenger’s contract is renewed, along with the contract terms.
“Muenger shall reside within the city limits of the city during his tenure as city manager,” the contract reads. “Muenger shall have an initial period of four (4) months from the execution of this agreement to relocate to the city.”
The city council can terminate Muenger’s contract with and without cause.
If the council decides to terminate Muenger’s contract without cause, the city manager is entitled to four-months of severance pay. In exchange for the four-month salary, Muenger agrees to make himself available for consulting service to the city during that four-month period.
If Muenger resigns, he is required to provide the city with at least a 60-day written notice.
“Upon termination of his employment, Muenger shall be paid for any accrued but unused vacation leave in accordance with general applicable city policy,” the contract states.
When former City Manager Patrick Draper resigned, the council approved to pay him $50,000 to serve as a consultant for four months.
Muenger is expected to begin his new job March 23.
Muenger was one of six candidates who applied for the vacant position. The other candidates who interviewed included former Anniston City Manager Don Hoyt; Richard Tucker, of Pell City; Alan Grindstaff, of Maize, Kansas; William Whitson, of Lynn-Haven, Florida; and former Pell City Councilman Darrin DeLoach.
At its Feb. 9 meeting, the council directed city attorney John Rea to negotiate a contract with Muenger, who has been Talladega’s city manager since 2010.
The city manager’s position in Pell City was vacated after Draper officially resigned in October 2014. He held the position for about two years.
City officials said Draper’s annual salary was about $105,000 when he resigned.
Draper initially made about $80,000 annually but received a substantial pay raise after he completed his first year on the job.