City Manager Cody Holcomb’s performance earned rave reviews from the Ada City Council Monday night.
After a closed session to discuss Holcomb’s performance evaluation, the council voted 4-0 to renew his employment agreement without any changes for another term. At Holcomb’s request, the city did not authorize a raise for him, leaving his salary unchanged at $130,000 a year.
Councilman Guy Sewell said he thought Holcomb was doing a good job of managing his resources and tackling the city’s long-standing problems.
“I like the things he’s doing to advance the city in dealing with some issues that have been creeping up on the city for the last decade or so,” he said.
Councilman Greg McCortney said he would have supported a proposal to boost Holcomb’s salary, but Holcomb had indicated he would not accept a raise because other city staffers would not receive raises in 2014.
“He made it very clear when we got here tonight and in one-on-one discussions that I had with him that no matter whether we wanted it or not, he wouldn’t take it,” McCortney said. “That if we weren’t giving city staff a raise, we weren’t giving him a raise.”
McCortney criticized The Ada News for publishing an unsigned item in Sunday’s paper, which claimed that the council would be giving Holcomb a raise. The item appeared in the Sounding Board column, which allows readers to air their opinions on various issues without giving their names.
“Since it was published on Sunday that he was getting a raise, I think it probably made it pretty hard for him to do his job and to manage people who weren’t getting a raise because we don’t have that money,” McCortney said.
“I want it to be said out loud that he wouldn’t take a raise because they wouldn’t get a raise, and I think that’s pretty dang admirable.”
Vice Mayor Darrell Nemecek, who presided over the meeting in Mayor Bryan Morris’ absence, said he appreciated Holcomb’s work for the city over the past two years.
“We’ve done some great things, and I know he’s got some things on the horizon that we directed him to do,” Nemecek said. “We’ll see some good things coming up for the city of Ada.”
In other business, the council:
• Moved forward with plans to build a venue for live music and movies in Wintersmith Park.
The council authorized the city to apply for a $114,879 community development block grant for the project from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. The city will have to match state funds dollar for dollar to receive the grant.
Other steps included approving a commitment to provide matching funds, adopting a plan for citizens to participate in the project and signing an agreement with the contractor Millie Vance Inc., which will serve as the grant administrator.
City officials are planning to convert the old monkey pen at Wintersmith Park into a space for concerts and movies. The architectural firm Redland Childers Architects has been hired to provide architectural and engineering services for the project.
• Approved collective bargaining agreements with the International Association of Firefighters, Local 2298, for the current fiscal year and FY 2014-15.
The agreement for the current fiscal year includes a 2 percent cost of living adjustment, which was given to all city employees.
The agreement for FY 2014-15 does not include a similar increase because next year’s budget does not include a cost of living adjustment for other city staffers.
Reach Eric Swanson at firstname.lastname@example.org.