Kennewick City Manager Marie Mosley might end up with an employment contract stripped of a severance package and a potential $10,000 performance bonus.
Either that, or she could have everything the package contains, but a split council vote.
Three city council members declared at Tuesday's council workshop they won't agree to the big bonus provision in the contract being considered for approval.
And two of them -- Bob Parks and Don Britain -- also think the city manager position should not have severance pay as a safety net.
"I've heard an earful from the community," said Britain.
The performance pay provision in Mosley's $136,700 annual contract was a good idea, Britain said, but he saw no reason to add on a $10,000 incentive bonus, or the severance package.
He also repeated his objection from a week ago about Mosley being able to take compensatory time off whenever she wants while working a flex schedule expected to exceed 80 hours in two weeks' time.
"That's time off without any cap, or checks and balance. It is carte blanche as written in the contract," Britain said.
Parks said he, too, was troubled by the comp time, severance and incentive bonus.
"I've got more feedback (from the public) on this issue than any other in the 10 years I've been on the council. And I've got to listen to the public," he said.
Hubbard's main concern was the incentive bonus.
He called it "inappropriate for people in public service," noting that such a bonus would be warranted only if there was performance that brought exceptional benefit to the city.
"A million-dollar savings on a lawsuit settlement would be an example," Hubbard said.
Councilmen Paul Parish and Bob Olson, Mayor Pro Tem Sharon Brown and Mayor Steve Young each said they like the proposed contract as it is.
Parish said Mosley was worth keeping, and that the employment contract was less than what city managers in Pasco and Richland receive.
"I'd hate to lose her," he said.
"I'm the same as Parish," Olson said.
Brown offered to remove the incentive bonus provision if it would satisfy the three council members, noting that the council always could vote to bring it back later, if deserved.
Young, rankled by the disunity, insisted the contract proposal was what Mosley deserves, but he is willing to rewrite it to satisfy the full council, if it will help win full support.
"This will be one of the most important decisions of the council this year. This is a$230 million operation, and she is in charge of 350 employees," a frustrated Young said.
"I got phone calls, too, from people telling me she should not make $50,000 a year. I don't think I have anyone working for me that makes that little. One person said she shouldn't be paid at all. And Ms. Brown and I also got some other interesting phone calls," the mayor said.
Mosley said she could have stayed in her former position of director of support services and would have been happy to retire there, but once the council chose her to be interim city manager, and later full-time CEO, she has found a strong desire to do her best.
"I love this job, but I know the risk (of not always having council support). Severance is important to me," said Mosley, who has 16 years service with the city in two different employment periods.
"You've got your four votes, so bring it forward," Parks told Young.
But Mosley doesn't want a divided council.
"I'm not looking for four council votes. I want a consensus so we can go forward. I value all of you," she said.
John Trumbo: 582-1529; firstname.lastname@example.org