City manager pay in middle of local government executives

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- A comparison of the base salary offered City Manager James Taylor and other local government executives shows that Taylor is in the middle of the deck when it comes to pay.

Tuesday, the city commission offered Taylor an open-ended contract worth $130,500 per year in base salary.

Based on public records and information from the various executives, Taylor's pay would place him squarely in the middle of the pack of those tasked with leading local governments.

Dougherty County Schools Superintendent Joshua Murfree is still at the top of the heap, bringing in $140,000 per year. According to his contract, Murfree's pay will slide up to $147,000 once he completes training for his L6 certification through the Georgia Professional Standards Council.

Lott was next on the list. According to the city's finance department, Lott's salary at the time of his resignation March 2 was $138,000.

Directly behind Taylor is Dougherty County Administrator Richard Crowdis, who, according to an e-mail sent to The Herald Wednesday, makes $124,527 annually. He's served as administrator for nearly 13 years.

Rounding out the list is newly-hired Lee County Administrator Tony Massey, who told the Herald Wednesday that his base salary is $110,000.

While Taylor's contract appears to have been created to be similar to Lott's, there was at least one notable difference.

Whereas Lott was hired under a three-year contract which was open for renewal, Taylor's contract has no time frame. Instead, it calls for the commission to review Taylor's status each January. Should they deem it necessary, they can vote to terminate the contract if they give at least 60 days notice to Taylor.

Taylor himself can terminate the contract, but must give at least 90 days notice.

Under the contract, the city has agreed to give Taylor a car allowance of $600 per month, a phone allowance of $90, and pay a sum equal to 8.9 percent of his annual pay into a deferred compensation account.

The contract stipulates that Taylor can be fired either with cause -- malfeasance, conviction or unethical behavior -- or without.

If the contract is terminated without cause, the commission will owe Taylor a full year's pay if terminated within the first year; nine months pay if terminated during the second year; and six month's pay if terminated after the third year.

If the commission fires Taylor with cause, no severance is provided.