It took a couple hours of bargaining, but former Cottonwood Police Chief Doug Bartosh, accepted the job of Cottonwood city manager at the City Council meeting on Thursday, Jan. 24.
“I believe you’ll make a good leader,” Mayor Diane Joens told Bartosh. “The reason we do what we do and get up to go to work in the morning is for the citizens of Cottonwood and I believe you’ll make them proud.”
“I believe I’ve done that as police chief and I’m confident that I can do it as city manager,” Bartosh replied.
Bartosh showed he was already familiar with such city procedures as pay periods when he indicated he should begin at the start of a new pay period, which fell on Sunday, Jan. 27.
The city has been without a permanent city manager since former City Manager Brian Mickelsen died unexpectedly Aug. 18.
Marianne Jiminez has served as acting city manager since Mickelsen’s death.
Bartosh and council members acknowledged the fact that Bartosh will virtually be in training when he starts his new position.
Council reverted to executive session for over an hour before finishing the employment agreement with Bartosh.
For a time it looked like the deal would be placed on hold until issues such as who would take over as police chief could
“I want acknowledgment that he won’t be chief of police,” Councilman Duane Kirby said. “I want somebody to manage the whole city and be equally responsive to all city departments.”
“I’d be more comfortable to have an interim police chief first before you’re city manager,” Vice Mayor Karen Pfeifer said.
In the end, Bartosh agreed to find an interim police chief within two weeks after his start date.
Cmdr. Jody Fanning, a 20-year veteran of the department, was named interim police chief.
Fanning will serve until a permanent replacement is named, a process Bartosh said could take several months.
Council also agreed to amend the employment agreement to include a $450 car allowance per month, allow the new city manager to receive four weeks of vacation time instead of three and receive increased severance benefits if terminated by the council.
Kirby opposed the changes.
“We made an adequate offer,” he said of the original proposal.
The council denied Bartosh’s request for a slightly higher salary of $105,000 but he accepted the original proposal of $102,854.
“He’ll be in training as the city manager,” Joens said. “I would like to see him earn what he’s requesting.”
Joens said in addition to the compensation paid to the city manager, salaries for all city employees from top to bottom need to be re-evaluated.