Salary for next Fort Smith city administrator set at $137,500

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 903 views 

Carl Geffken, the next Fort Smith City Administrator, will begin the job with a starting salary of $137,500, a $450 monthly car allowance and the city’s standard retirement and healthcare benefits.

The employment agreement, which has yet to be approved by the Fort Smith Board of Directors, also offers Geffken 20 days of annual vacation leave, according to the unsigned agreement. The five-page document also lays out in simple terms his opportunities for pay raises.

“It is understood and agreed that this salary amount should be reviewed annually by the Board as part of a formal performance evaluation, and that it will be increased upon the Board’s determination that Geffken’s performance has been such as to warrant an increase and that Geffken has met goals provided to him by the City for the previous year,” the agreement stipulates.

The review process includes the following opportunities for both parties.
• Prepare a written evaluation.
• Meet and discuss the evaluation.
• Present a written summary of the evaluation results.

Annual reviews are set to happen during the last regular Board meeting in December, according to the agreement.

In the event Geffken is dismissed “for cause,” he will be paid three months severance pay and health insurance premiums will be paid for three months. The “for cause” covers “being charged with a felony or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude,” noted the agreement.

If Geffken decides to leave the job within six months of his start date, the severance package covers only two months.

As of Friday (April 1), Geffken and the city had yet to agree on a start date, but Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders said they were looking at dates around mid April.

Geffken, is the interim executive director, Children and Youth Services, for the County of Berks, Pa. He also served as the city managing director (2010-2012) of Reading, Pa. Geffken follows City Administrator Ray Gosack who resigned suddenly in July following a period of conflict with the Fort Smith Board related to budget balancing decisions.

The Fort Smith Board on March 8 voted 5-2 to hire Geffken, with Directors Keith Lau and Kevin Settle opposing. Supporting the Geffken hire were Directors George Catsavis, André Good, Don Hutchings, Mike Lorenz and Tracy Pennartz.

The Board did not hire Dan Biles or Acting Fort Smith City Administrator Jeff Dingman. Biles is a 23-year veteran of the Air National Guard and the United States Air Force, and is now a deputy county manager in Jefferson County, Ala., (Birmingham). Dingman has been the acting city administrator since mid July 2015. He was hired in 2011 to be Fort Smith’s deputy city administrator, and prior to that was city administrator in Baldwin, Kan. (pop. 4,540).