City manager’s salary set

Published 9:12 pm Wednesday, October 7, 2015

New city manager Patrick Roberts will earn the same salary as city manager that he has earned since July 1 as interim city manager.

In a unanimous vote Wednesday, City Council set Roberts’ salary at $170,811 annually. He also will receive $12,000 of deferred compensation annually and a $700 monthly automobile allowance.

Upon termination of his service for any reason other than for cause, Roberts will receive a severance payment equal to six months of salary and benefits.

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Councilman Mike Duman said during the meeting that Roberts asked for his salary to remain at its current rate, saying Roberts felt “uncomfortable” accepting an increase while compensation for many of his employees remains below the market rate.

Roberts affirmed that after the meeting.

“I thought it was premature to ask for an increase in my salary until we deal with the workforce holistically,” Roberts said.

The compensation negotiations were conducted in a closed session earlier in the evening.

“Patrick Roberts is a man of character and integrity,” Mayor Linda T. Johnson said at the end of the meeting.

Former city manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn left the city May 15 for the same job in Richmond. Her salary at departure was $184,618, and she made $147,000 when she was first hired.

At the Sept. 16 meeting, City Council cut short the search process and voted unanimously to hire Roberts, who has been deputy city manager since June 2008, from among 25 applicants for the position.

“I think it goes without saying that I’ve been preparing myself for a number of years for this opportunity,” Roberts said during Wednesday’s meeting.

Prior to being deputy city manager, Roberts worked as assistant director in the Department of Planning and Community Development. Prior to that, he was senior assistant to the chief administrative officer for the city of Richmond. He also worked in various capacities from May 2000 to September 2007 in the departments of Public Works, Community Development, City Manager’s Office and City Auditor’s Office.

He is a Portsmouth native and graduated from Churchland High School and Virginia Military Institute and holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.