BRUNSWICK — The Town Council on Tuesday ratified an employment contract with new Town Manager Gary Brown.
The 8-1 decision, with Councilor Karen Klatt dissenting, marked the first time the town has hired a manager in the last 20 years. Also noteworthy Tuesday was the absence of discussion or angst, both of which had been in abundance during a flurry of closed-door meetings and council correspondence over Brown’s hiring.
The council in August met six times behind closed doors to discuss the manager search. Two of those meetings were followed by public meetings. The Aug. 12 meeting drew a comments from several residents who said the selection process was tainted. While most councilors maintained the effectiveness of the process, several also said they were confused.
On Tuesday, council Chairwoman Hallie Daughtry said the process was a good one, even if there were some bumps in the road. Brown, meanwhile, said he looked forward to meeting the town’s challenges, which include working with those with differing views.
“The one thing we all share here is doing what is best for our community,” he said.
Brown’s contract is Brunswick’s first with a town manager. Past managers worked under terms of the town’s personnel policy.
Brown’s contract is indefinite. He will make the same salary he did prior to becoming the full-time manager, just over $98,600 per year.
Brown was Brunswick’s assistant town manager for two years, and was originally hired for about $85,600. He has been the acting manager since January, when Donald Gerrish, the town’s top executive for nearly 20 years, retired. Brown also filled in for Economic Development Director Mat Eddy, who resigned in December.
The council increased Brown’s salary after appointing him acting manager, in part because he was doing the work of three positions at the time.
Brown’s new contract requires the town to allocate an additional 5 percent of his annual salary, or more than $4,900, into a retirement fund. Brown will also receive a monthly $350 vehicle allowance and a $50-per-month stipend for a cell phone.
If the council at some point decides it has a philosophical difference with Brown, he could received a severance equal to six months of his salary. However, if he is fired for cause, he would only be compensated for accrued vacation and sick time.