Sequim Council gives high marks to manager

Yet again, Steve Burkett, the City of Sequim’s city manager, received high marks from Sequim City Council.

They met April 12 in executive session in the Sequim Clallam Transit building to discuss Burkett at length with facilitator David Mercier of Battle Ground.

Burkett scored a 9.1 overall in 12 performance areas. His highest marks came in employee relations (9.3) and management style and interpersonal skills while his lowest mark (8.9) came in three areas: interagency relations, communications and city council/manager partnership.

Mayor Candace Pratt said Burkett’s 9.1 reflects his excellent performance.

“The council recognizes that his abundant skills, based on knowledge and experience, have steered the city’s government to a very professional level,” Pratt said.

In the report, city councilors commended Burkett for working on the council’s goals, being proactive, responsive, knowledgable and more. They asked Burkett to increase communication with them on multiple facets including notable meetings he holds and council goal updates.

Mayor Pro-tem Dennis Smith said Burkett works well with the council and city staff.

“He supports the city council so well,” Smith said. “He’s never bothered and even when on vacation, which is seldom, he makes his cell phone available so we can call him anytime, anywhere.”

With Burkett’s high marks, the city council is going to discuss a wage increase for him at its April 28 meeting, Smith said.

Burkett started with the city in October 2009 making $120,000. In January 2013, he and 21 other non-union employees began paying 10 percent toward their medical benefits. Burkett was given about $100 more a month to offset the costs.

In April 2013, Burkett received a 5-percent merit increase bringing his salary up to $127,260 a year. Susan Connelly, human resources director,  said under Burkett’s contract he can be reviewed once a year if the city council chooses to do so.

Burkett’s contract stipulates a long-term incentive program for retirement to encourage him to stay with the city through 2015.

The city paid Mercier $4,508.41 for his work with the city councilors.


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