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Riverfront chief wants to talk to City Council

Time to readdress Miller’s contract

Published: Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 1:15 a.m. CST

DIXON – Riverfront Chairman Larry Reed wants to meet with the City Council to revisit a contract agreement with Executive Manager Kay Miller.

Two city commissioners, however, say a vote won’t come until both sides can talk about the direction of the Riverfront.

Discussions between the two could come soon, but no meetings have been set.

Meanwhile, Miller is working without a contract and receiving no pay, after the City Council voted 4-1 in November not to raise her salary from $200 to $800 a month. At a meeting earlier this month, it was reported Miller was paid for November, but Reed clarified the pay actually was for October – the last month of her contract.

Reed wrote a letter to Mayor Jim Burke asking to discuss the matter with city commissioners. The letter included information on Miller’s job duties, her performance and the Riverfront’s budget.

Miller has been paid $200 a month for the past year, but until late last year, she was paid $1,000 a month. Reed said the Riverfront is not looking at the salary proposal as an increase, but a decrease from the $1,000 Miller used to receive.

“The recommendation did not come to the City Council as just a nice thing to do,” Reed wrote. “There were hours of background study, performance evaluation with a written rating, and a mid-year budget review and a year’s end budget report.”

Commissioner Jeff Kuhn said nothing Reed has said or presented will change his mind until some of his questions are answered.

“It’s going to come down to us sitting down and having a discussion with them,” Kuhn said. “We keep hearing stories of all these problems going on and so forth, I would like to have them addressed. Maybe it’s sour grapes, maybe it’s people who can’t get along. We need to know what it is before I’m willing to vote on anything.”

Commissioner Dennis Considine, who attends Riverfront meetings regularly, said his “no” vote goes deeper than information Reed presented to the City Council.

“I think we need to look at reorganizing fundraising going forward,” Considine said. “I think they need to a look at a change of how they raise funds. They are limited to events on the Riverfront, and they only made money on one event.”

Burke, on the other hand, said he is confident in the Riverfront’s recommendation to renew Miller’s contract.

Reed has been confused as to what the City Council wants. He is concerned the public misinterpreted Riverfront talks about creating more revenue streams, and some members suggesting city funding – meaning the Riverfront – was in bad shape financially. It’s maintenance fund is projected to keep a $25,000 balance after 2013.

We’re very concerned about the future of the management of the Heritage Crossing,” Reed said. “The action taken by the City Council tells us that we need to rethink this whole issue.”

Two people have expressed interest in doing the executive manager job on a volunteer basis, while a former volunteer told Sauk Valley Media the position can be handled by a volunteer.

Riverfront officials have expressed no interest in that at this time.

To learn more

Go to www.saukvalley.com to read the packet of information Riverfront Chairman Larry Reed gave to Mayor Jim Burke and the city commissioners.

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