Quincy city commissioners voted on whether or not to renegotiate city manager Jack McLean’s contract at the city commission meeting on January 28.
“This contract has expired,” said Commissioner Derrick Elias. He urged the commission to renegotiate the employment agreement, which has not been updated since 2008.
The contract states, “This Agreement shall commence on November 1, 2008, and shall terminate on October 31, 2011.”
Mayor Keith Dowdell argued, “We all knew that he was on a 3-year contract, and if we didn’t do anything in 180 days, it would roll over.”
According to the contract, “At least one hundred and eighty (180) days prior to the expiration of this agreement either party may notify the other of its intent not to extend this Agreement.”
Mayor Pro-Tem Larry Edwards stated that he wanted to wait until the first meeting in March to make a decision about the contract, at the advice of city attorney Jerry Miller.
“We had a long discussion about this at the workshop,” said Miller. He argued that the commission should consider economics. If they decided to terminate McLean, he could take the contract to civil litigation to prove that it is still in effect.
According to the provisions of the contract, if the City of Quincy were to terminate McLean, they would owe him severance pay equivalent to five months of his salary. “It will be a substantial amount,” said Miller.
Commissioner Andy Gay stated that he didn’t feel this was a legally binding contract. According to him, the city is currently in a position to negotiate the manager’s contract.
The renegotiation process could also be beneficial to McLean, suggested Commissioner Elias. Commissioner Gay proposed making the contract “more simplified” and “not as unique and wordy.”
The motion to renegotiate the city manager’s contract passed by a vote of 3-2, with Mayor Dowdell and Mayor Pro-Tem Edwards dissenting.