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Thread: City manager Couch needs a pay raise??

  1. #1
    Patrick Guest

    Default City manager Couch needs a pay raise??

    Looks like the city council is considering giving Jim Couch, our city manager another raise. His last raise was in 2001. Personally, I'm all in favor of it. He's no different than any other CEO....if anything, he manages a lot larger corporation...a city. He has great talents...we should definitely reward those. What do you guys think?

    ----------
    "What should you do to keep the CEO of a successful firm? City Council faces issue in reviewing Couch
    by Brian Brus
    The Journal Record
    12/21/2004

    How much is it worth to keep a chief executive of four years managing a 4,300-person staff and property interests over 622 square miles? Keep in mind he has a niche consumer base of just under 1 million people, and he has to deal face-to-face with elected politicians on a daily basis.
    The Oklahoma City Council will decide today in executive session, as City Manager Jim Couch faces a review of his performance, salary and benefits.

    City Clerk Frances Kersey confirmed Couch's current pay rate is $156,000, with an annual allowance of $7,000 for personal expenses associated with the job.

    Couch hasn't received a pay adjustment since 2001, which raised him from his starting pay of $133,500 to where he is now. He was appointed city manager in November 2000. Among the responsibilities of his job are serving on the Oklahoma City Airport Trust, the Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust, the Oklahoma City Zoological Trust, and the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority. He also is general manager of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area School Trust.

    City Auditor Susan J. McNitt and Municipal Counselor William R. Burkett also are up for review today. McNitt's pay rate is $102,500 with an annual allowance of $3,000; Burkett's is $119,997 with an annual allowance of $3,000.

    McNitt's salary also has remained steady since 2001. She was hired in 1996 at an annual rate of $69,000. Burkett hasn't received a pay adjustment since he was hired in 2002.

    City officials could not reveal details of potential salary adjustments; such personnel matters are protected under state law."

  2. #2

    Default Re: City manager Couch needs a pay raise??

    I'm not sure what the pay would have to be to keep competitive with other mid-sized cities -- adjusted for cost of living.

  3. Default Re: City manager Couch needs a pay raise??

    Quote Originally Posted by Midtowner
    I'm not sure what the pay would have to be to keep competitive with other mid-sized cities -- adjusted for cost of living.
    I would not know. Oklahoma City's concern is meeting MAJOR city's competitave pay scale since that is what we are (1.2 million spells MAJOR!)

  4. #4

    Default Re: City manager Couch needs a pay raise??

    Quote Originally Posted by mranderson
    I would not know. Oklahoma City's concern is meeting MAJOR city's competitave pay scale since that is what we are (1.2 million spells MAJOR!)
    Please do not hijack another thread. If you feel so strongly about it, start your own thread.

  5. Default Re: City manager Couch needs a pay raise??

    I'd have to think about this one. As soon as I read, that Couch is on the Airport Trust ....

    hmmm

    maybe his performance as a CEO has not been that spectacular. Considering OKC is a major city by any definition, I dont think Couch's performance is as deserving.

    but hey, Im pretty fiscal conservative here. I think, no raise (or only a COLA increase) - he only did his job, nothing spectacular. If he leaves, get someone else. Im sure the line would be lengthy to be the CEO of a City like Oklahoma City.

    Maybe then we could get someone who could run our airport like a business (for profit - of our citizens) instead of how it is now (like a special project - fix it [barely] just enough to keep it running, but thats it).
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  6. Default Re: City manager Couch needs a pay raise??

    Dallas (7/02 population: 1,211,467) is paying its interim city manager (there's a ballot issue pending to eliminate the position, which is why it's designated "interim") $189,473; the person filling the slot thinks she should be getting $225,000.

    Berkeley, California (7/02 population: 103,640) just raised its city manager's pay to $150,000, with one member of the city council commenting that he should be paid an extra $25,000 just for having to listen to the city council.

    On the basis of these two items, I'm inclined to think that whatever we're paying Mr Couch, it probably isn't enough.

  7. Default Re: City manager Couch needs a pay raise??

    I think you should look at performance of the individual - when they are incumbent rather than other cities. If you are looking to replace Couch, then by all means, we should benchmark other cities.

    Couch is already here and his job was to run OKC and make it better. For the most part, he did his job. But nothing spectacular has happened due to his leadership. In fact, the airport has been sideswiped IMO. We were promised a new terminal with two concourses totalling at least 25 gates at a cost of $110 mil.

    For the same price, we are getting a 18 gate, one concouse terminal - with the other concourse to be shelled in later (if they get their heads out their A**), at additional cost.

    I dont think this type of performance deserves a pay increase.

    Furthermore, couch can not take credit for Bricktown and the inner city development. He has led nothing in those efforts - he only did his job (supplying financial impact data and so on). Leadership came from the Mayor and Council.

    If anything, we should increase their pay and get rid of the Manager position like Dallas is considering. Make the Mayor and Council full-time! And get them and key progressive players on our committees - like Airport, Bricktown, so on. Create new committees for other entertainment districts - like Little Asia, Paseo, Cap Hill, so on.

    Make OKC where it is no longer just a major downtown with sprawling suburbs - but a collection of "downtown" enclaves (or districts) surrounding a major downtown BIG CITY.

    I can see we are making progress toward this, but has Couch been the leader here. NO!

    So we are paying him to do a duty and he has done it. Once again, Nothing Spectacular deserving a pay increase (other than COLA 3.5%).
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  8. Default Re: City manager Couch needs a pay raise??

    Hot Rod brings some good points.

    With the hosing we got over Will Rogers, it hurts the city and restricts new business. I really am surprised Dell came in with not much air traffic.

    I think we need to re think our city manager totally.

    For the most part, I like Jim Couch. However, we need someone that will improve air service as well as business... And I mean WELL PAYING jobs. Not jobs that pay less than a living wage. Not poverty or where life requires two incomes.

    Until things change in those directions, there are very few people I will support.

    Our Mayor is just about the only one I support at this point.

  9. #9
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: City manager Couch needs a pay raise??

    Actually you can give Couch much of the credit for Bricktown and MAPS....prior to being city manager, he was the head of the MAPS program.

    But, I agree with you guys on one thing.....he does sit on the airport trust, and thus, he could do more at trying to improve our airport.

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