Dingman gets raise from city
City Administrator Jeff Dingman was given a 4 percent salary increase at Monday's Baldwin City Council meeting.
The city council was unanimous in its approval of his job evaluation, but not for the amount of salary increase. It raised Dingman's yearly pay to $82,634.
The council met in executive session for around 45 minutes Monday to discuss the evaluation. When they returned, Mayor Gary Walbridge entertained a motion regarding the positive performance and the 4 percent raise.
"I'm in favor of the evaluation approval and he's done a very good job," said Council Member Ted Brecheisen Jr. "I am not for the 4 percent increase and will vote against it. But, I think he's done a good job."
The motion was seconded and approved by a 4-1 vote. Dingman has been city administrator since 2003. Numerous projects were completed this year, including the $1.8 million Downtown Streetscape Project and the $1 million Women's Bridge renovation. He also oversaw the overhaul of the city's comprehensive plan among other items.
"A majority of the council members are very pleased with Jeff's performance and believe his salary should be raised accordingly," said Council Member Tony Brown. "We couldn't find any gross deficiencies. We think he's doing a good job."
It was the biggest of action items at an otherwise tame council meeting. Brown did have a question for Dingman and another item to inform the council about. He wanted to know the status of the search for the city's first full-time fire chief. The new position has been discussed for years and was approved. The position was advertised earlier this year.
"With the fire chief, I've decided to take applications again," said Dingman. "We had eight candidates. There were two that I was interested in, but one was part-time.
"I just asked Darcy (Huggins, city clerk) to advertise it again," he said. "I will be more aggressive about it this time."
Brown, who chairs the safety committee, also told the council that he'd been in discussions with the county's emergency management office regarding requirements by the Federal Emergency Management Administration.
"We all need to go through training to be compliant with FEMA," Brown told council members. "If we don't, we wouldn't be eligible for payments if there was a disaster here."
He said the training involves an Internet training site and only takes about 45 minutes.
The council also approved a bid Musselman and Hall Contractors, LLC, of Kansas City, Mo., for the Midland Railway Enhancement project. The bid was for $162,509.40. The city is not involved in funding the improvements to the tracks and depot, but is serving as the financial arm. Midland, the Santa Fe Trail Historical Society and the Kansas Department of Transportation is paying for the improvements. Midland and the historical society will give the city its portions of the project, the city will pay the contractor and will be reimbursed by KDOT within a week to 10 days of payments.