City of Robinson leaders say they are in no rush to fill the city manger’s seat, and documents state the city will pay departing City Manager Robert Cervenka about $69,000 plus accrued vacation time and unused sick leave to avoid potential litigation.
The council unanimously approved a mutual agreement to terminate Cervenka’s contract during a special meeting Monday.
The council plans to appoint an acting city manager at the March 1 council meeting, according to a statement from the city Tuesday afternoon. The council will immediately begin the hiring process for the vacancy. Cervenka will continue as city manager until Monday, according to the terms of the agreement.
Mayor Bert Echterling did not return calls for comment Tuesday.
Councilman Steve Janics said the city will not rush to fill the position, as there are plenty of capable employees working for Robinson who will keep operations running smoothly through the transition.
Janics said he would like to find a city manager who has experience with road projects and who has a vision to help the city grow and attract new business.
Cervenka, who was 54 when the city announced in September 2009 he would be hired, is the highest-paid city employee, making $137,259.20 annually.
The next highest-paid Robinson employees are the police chief, at $88,004.80 per year; the utilities director, $82,596.80; the finance director, $74,672; and the planning director, at $72,696 annually.
Each employee receives an annual evaluation after their first year of employment on or around June of each year. Cervenka’s evaluations were conducted pursuant to Section 551.074 of the Government Code, and the results are not available to the public, according to documents obtained through an open records request.
The city made the move to end Cervenka’s contract because the council wanted a management change, the termination agreement states.
Robinson agreed to pay Cervenka a lump sum of $68,629.60, minus required payroll deductions for taxes, Social Security and retirement contribution, according to the document. The city also will pay him for his accrued and unused vacation time.
Because of a dispute between Cervenka and the city, the city opted to avoid potential litigation and buy peace by paying Cervenka his accrued and unused sick leave balance, according to the document.
The city also will pay its matching retirement contribution in relation to the retirement contributions withheld from Cervenka’s lump-sum payment.
No legal claims
The document also states Cervenka and the city will not seek legal claims against one another after his departure.
“No admission or intimation of wrongdoing by either party should be inferred from the above releases — said releases being a proper and advisable term of any separation agreement,” the termination agreement states. “No promises or representations have been made outside of this separation agreement, and the agreements and understandings of the parties are contained herein.”
Cervenka could not be reached for comment Monday night or Tuesday.