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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