Janine Jordan City Council 2/5

City Manager Janine Jordan talks to Laramie City Council in February 2019. Council-members voted to give her a raise this month.

The Laramie City Council extended the contracts of City Manager Janine Jordan and City Attorney Bob Southard this month.

Council member Paul Weaver said the contract renewals reflect “continued confidence in both officials.”

“My personal opinion is that we are extremely lucky to have these people working for us,” Council member Jayne Pearce said.

The new contracts reflect pay increases that both employees have received in the past two years.

In Jordan’s January 2018 contract, her base pay was $131,942.

After receiving a 2% cost-of-living adjustment and later renegotiating her contract that same year, Jordan’s base pay was brought up to $144,231 in December 2018.

She then received a 3% raise in November 2019, bringing her salary to $148,558 — a figure now reflected in her new contract.

During the last two years, Southard’s salary was increased from $110,000 to $113,878 after receiving a 2% cost-of-living adjustment in December 2018 and then a 1% raise in November 2019.

“From time to time, all city employees are given raises … and the city manager and attorney get those percentage raises like all other city employees,” Southard told council-members.

Aside from reflecting their recent salary increases, Southard said the only change to Jordan’s contract is a restructuring of her annual $10,000 longevity pay that will no longer be paid as an annual lump sum.

“It turns out the Wyoming Retirement System objected to that system and said we can’t count that toward what we paying into the Wyoming Retirement System,” Southard said. “So it’s the same amount of money, but now it’s spread out over all 12 months.”

Southard has served as city attorney since 2016 and Janine has been city manager since 2008. Either can terminate their contracts “for any reason or for no reason” by giving the city 60 days’ notice.

If he contract were terminated by the Laramie City Council, both Jordan and Southard are entitled to severance pay, assuming neither were fired for cause.

Jordan’s contract calls for severance pay of $140,000 and payment of health insurance for up to 12 months if she were terminated without cause.

The city can only terminate either contract for cause if the officials were to commit “a felony or any crime involving dishonesty,” or if the officials were to commit “a material breach of this contract.”

In December, the Laramie City Council renewed their contract with Municipal Judge Dona Playton, extending it an additional two years at her current pay rate of $55,000 per year.

That contract can be terminated “at any time, for any reason or for no reason” by either party so long as 30 days written notice is given.

Playton has been the municipal judge since November 2017 and the new contract began Jan. 1.

Playton, Southard and Jordan are the only employees that city council directly oversees and conducts performance reviews annually.

-A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the new contracts included salary increases for Jordan and Southard. In fact, the new contracts merely reflect the raises both employees have received during the past two years. This story was updated Feb. 5.

(1) comment

Ernest Bass

Janine’s compensation will now be $173,558 in salary and benefits per year. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s yearly compensation is $175,520 (bizjournals.com). Laramie has a population of 32,306 and Denver has a population of 619,968. What is wrong with this picture?

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