BRITT | More than a week after the Britt City Council offered Lory Young of Wellman the city administrator/clerk position, it’s negotiating the terms of her contract.
On Thursday, Dec. 14, the city council met in special session to discuss Young’s counter-offer in which she requested more salary, more vacation and more perks than it originally offered.
Young, who has been the city clerk in Riverside for the past five and a half years, was formerly offered the city administrator/clerk position after a 45-minute closed session on Dec. 5.
She was offered the position with a $65,000 annual salary with a six-month review period and vacation, sick leave and all other benefits as outlined in the employee handbook.
In her counter-offer, Young requested a salary of $68,000 because of the difference in health insurance costs between Riverside and Britt. She said her current employer pays 90 percent of her family plan, which she uses for her and her two adult sons, while Mayor Ryan Arndorfer said Britt pays 50 percent.
“If you give that to her, she earns that money all the time going forward, even when her kids are off the insurance,” said Councilor Curt Gast.
The council agreed to keep her annual salary at $65,000.
Young also requested five vacation days when she starts, an additional five days after six months, and to earn vacation time at the 10-year level based on her experience, which would give her 15 days annually.
“I didn’t have a huge problem with any of those. I thought it was an easier give than some of the other stuff,” Arndorfer said, noting the item would have to be OK’d by Earl Hill, city attorney, because under the city’s policy, other employees don’t have that many vacation days.
Gast suggested the city council examine the city’s vacation policy for all employees at a future meeting.
“When you’re trying to attract an employee and they look at (the city policy) and they don’t get any time off for the first year, that’s a dissatisfier for those looking to work for us,” he said.
With Hill’s review, the council is looking at giving her five days of vacation at the start, and providing additional days based on experience after the first year. However, it may change if the council changes its current policy.
Young also requested a $1,500 relocation package, an increase in life insurance and a $75 monthly stipend for her cell phone as well as permission to live outside Britt in the future.
The city council agreed to give her $1,000 to relocate to North Iowa, but kept its life insurance offering according to its current policy and scratched the cell phone stipend. It agreed that if she wants a work phone, the council will add her to the city’s plan, which is used for the police and fire departments.
The city council is asking Young live in the city of Britt or within five miles of the city.
The city also OK’d a list of conferences and memberships she wished to participate in, but each will require additional approval moving forward. It council said it didn’t have an issue with her operating her sewing business, too.
The city council’s employment offer was contingent on a background check, and Arndorfer said it came back “perfectly clear, so no issues there.”
Before becoming the city clerk in Riverside, Young served as the utility billing clerk in Kalona for seven years.
She is one of four applicants a committee consisting of council members and city department heads interviewed in mid-November after Shell Anderson, Britt city administrator/clerk since July 2015, resigned and accepted a position at IMT in Garner. Her last day was Oct. 26.
If Young accepts the council’s offer, she’d start in January. The city council will likely discuss the city administrator/clerk position during its Tuesday, Dec. 19, meeting.
Also during the Dec. 14 special meeting, the city council accepted the resignation of full-time public works department employee Matt Matern. His last day was Dec. 15.