Fort Dodge City Manager David Fierke received a one-year contract extension Monday from the City Council, and one of the elected officials said he needs to work more closely with a new council majority.
Fierke, the city manager since October 2006, had previously always received two-year contract extensions.
But on a 6-1 vote Monday, the council extended his contract by one year to October 2013.
Councilman Don Wilson said the change was made because the new council majority produced by the 2011 elections wants Fierke to be more responsive to its directions.
''We felt that David at that time was still working for the old council,'' Wilson said. ''We have a new council and we want him to work with the new council.''
Wilson said Fierke's work this year on the long-running crosstown connector project was a major factor in the decision to go with a one-year contract extension. The new council majority, which is composed of Kim Alstott, Dean Hill, Robert ''Barney'' Patterson, Mark Taylor and Wilson, generally wants to delay the project.
''We wasted four and a half months on this crosstown connector,'' Wilson said after the meeting. ''We could have had this thing over.''
During the meeting, councilmen Dave Flattery and Andy Fritz said they had no input in changing Fierke's contract.
''I think David has built up a nice resume of accomplishments,'' Flattery said.
He cited Fierke's efforts to institute a money-saving lean government program, hiring a good staff, following through with the city's Envision 2030 master plan and working on the efforts to bring CJ Bio America and Cargill to the North central Ag industrial park.
He added that the council is now rewarding Fierke's efforts with a shorter contract.
''I think it sends mixed signals to David and the city staff,'' he said.
Fritz said the new five-member council majority drafted the new contract without any input from him.
''The five of you met,'' he said. ''I didn't receive a single phone call or email to get my input on this.''
Fierke said he believes he has been responsive to the requests of the council.
''I'm completely fine with this amendment,'' he said. ''I serve at the pleasure of this council.''
Fierke, who is the first full-time city manager in Fort Dodge, is currently paid $116,620.
Alstott, Fritz, Hill, Patterson, Taylor and Wilson voted in favor of the one-year contract extension. Flattery voted against it.
Contact Bill Shea at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org