Many City Managers at Six Figures

By Beacon Staff

Kalispell City Manager Jim Patrick was among five finalists last month who applied for the open city manager position in Great Falls – a job that eventually went to Gregory T. Doyan, the city manager in Franklin, N.H. Doyon’s compensation in the Electric City will be $105,000 annually, with a monthly vehicle allowance of $450. That’s a significant jump in pay from his predecessor, whose annual base pay was $91,786. Doyan’s compensation is also higher than Patrick, who Kalispell currently pays $93,000 annually, with a $400 monthly vehicle allowance.

The compensation of city managers around the state may seem high compared to Montana’s average personal income, which was just under $31,000 in 2006. But consider that the city manager occupies a unique position in local government, as someone intended to be apolitical, but hired by – and working at the pleasure of – an elected city council. In a “council-manager” form of government, the city manager is the top full-time city employee, responsible for effectively implementing the council’s policies and decisions.

Bozeman pays its city manager, Chris Kukulski, a total compensation package of $117,440. Kukulski’s annual salary is approximately $100,440, and he receives a $12,000 annual housing allowance, and a roughly $5,000 annual vehicle allowance. In Billings, the city administrator, an equivalent position to manager, makes the most with $114, 337 and a $400 monthly vehicle allowance. Helena pays its city manager $103,671, but 11.5 percent of that is directed into a retirement package.

Whitefish pays City Manager Gary Marks $109,021 annually, while Columbia Falls pays William Shaw $64,000 for his work as city manager, and an additional $15,000 for the dual position he holds as the planning and zoning administrator.

Unlike most Montana cities, Missoula has no city manager, and employs a “mayor-council” form of government, with the mayor paid $72,453 annually and a city administrator paid $91,657.

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