MASON CITY | Praising his work so far as interim city administrator, the City Council on Tuesday doubled the pay increase Kevin Jacobson will receive in that role.

Jacobson, the city's finance director, earns $119,849 in that role. When he was named interim city administrator in October, the council agreed to pay him an extra $26,000 through March 31, 2018, ending earlier if a new administrator is hired before then.

On recommendation of Mayor Eric Bookmeyer, the council approved an additional $26,000 for him.

Bookmeyer thanked him for the added tasks he has taken on. "You and your staff have saved the city hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe millions," he said.

Councilman Travis Hickey, speaking after the mayor, told Bookmeyer, "You stole my thunder" as he too praised Jacobson for his work.

Jacobson led city staffers and the City Council through the process that led the council to choose G8 Development as the downtown hotel developer over Gatehouse Mason City LLC, which had been negotiating with the city for several months.

G8 submitted a proposal minutes before the deadline last month which the council determined was competitive. Jacobson then oversaw a "bid-off" between the two developers that resulted in final bids from each of them.

On Jacobson's recommendation, the council went with G8 after he pointed out many areas of savings with the G8 proposal.

Jacobson also dealt with a situation that resulted in former Fire Chief Al Dyer being placed on paid administrative leave for circumstances which the city has never disclosed. Dyer subsequently resigned.

In connection with that, the council on Tuesday approved the appointment of Deputy Fire Chief Doug Janssen as interim chief and raised his salary from $90,625 to $94,625, retroactive to Nov. 20. Janssen will serve as interim chief until a new chief is hired.

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