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Germann keeping administrator post in Wells

By Staff | Feb 8, 2010

Shannon Savick

The city of Wells has managed to keep their man.

City Administrator Jeremy Germann was given a new contract at a special meeting on Jan. 29.

“We have saved Jeremy. He’s going to stay with us,” says a relieved mayor, Shannon Savick. “I’m excited. He’s just excellent.”

The city is paying plenty to keep Germann.

The city administrator is having his salary increased $25,500, effective Jan. 1, 2010.

Germann received a starting salary of $43,500 when he was hired in October 2008.

In 2011, he’ll be paid $70,000 and $71,000 in the final year of the agreement.

After nearly two weeks of negotiations, the council made Germann a formal offer during the special meeting.

Council members went into closed-session for 10 minutes to go over the three-year agreement.

“It’s to discuss details and to have the opportunity to ask questions,” are the reasons City Attorney David Frundt gave for closing the meeting.

Once the meeting was back in session, the council voted 5-0 to approve the four-page contract.

Germann was being considered for the Waseca County administrator’s position. He received a “conditional offer” after being the board’s top choice among four finalists.

Germann withdrew his name for the county post on Jan. 26.

He says it was a difficult decision to make, but the support of the community and staff convinced him to remain at Wells.

“So many people asked me to stay. That really meant a lot to me,” Germann says.

Savick justified the large salary hike by saying the state average for a city administrator is $70,000 a year.

She says the salary hike was not budgeted for, but it will be paid out of the city’s reserves of about $4 million.

“We knew what Jeremy can do. Hiring someone new would have been a risk,” says Savick. “You have to pick and choose how to spend the reserves. Keeping Jeremy was important.”

In addition to cuts in state aid, Germann believes the city faces many challenges.

“The city of Wells has an outstanding group of employees, from top to bottom,” he says. “We’re going to work hard to get things done as efficiently as we can.”

Under Germann’s new contract, the city also has agreed to contribute to PERA or an alternate pension plan.

He also will receive the same hospital, medical, dental, life and disability benefits provided to other non-union employees.