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Henderson City Council OKs contract for city manager

Updated July 10, 2018 - 9:00 pm

The mood was light and jovial Tuesday night as the Henderson City Council rubber-stamped Richard Derrick’s contract as city manager.

After Robert Murnane retired due to health reasons in January, Derrick was appointed acting city manager, then interim city manager. The role is no longer temporary.

“We are thrilled that you’ve agreed to be our city manager,” Mayor Debra March told Derrick during the special council meeting. “The City of Henderson is in wonderful hands, and we look forward to your leadership.”

Derrick, who grew up in Henderson and still lives there, began working for the city in 1999.

“I’m just a kid who was born on Yucca Street in Henderson, and it’s hard to believe someone who was born in the community, who loves this community with all my heart, has the opportunity to serve this wonderful community.”

Derrick will have an annual base salary of $235,000, a $6,500 increase from Murnane’s initial annual base salary, according to both men’s contracts. Derrick’s annual salary as interim city manager was $220,716.

Murnane was making $235,000 annually when he retired, Henderson spokesman David Cherry wrote in an email.

Derrick has nearly 30 years of experience in budget and financial management. He served as assistant to the city manager from July 2008 to June 2009 and was named assistant city manager and chief financial officer in June 2013, according to his LinkedIn account.

Language in Derrick’s contract shows that he may have more power than his predecessor in firing people.

Unlike Murnane’s contract, Derrick’s contract states that he will not be required to consult with Henderson’s director of human resources and the city attorney before implementing new or changing administrative policies, personnel procedures, department reorganizations or workforce reductions.

He is also not required to meet with Vaskov or human resources before hiring, disciplining or firing a city employee.

“The powers of the city manager are outlined in the city charter and Henderson Municipal Code and have remained consistent,” Cherry said in an email.

Murnane’s 2015 contract was a three-year deal, then renewed annually. Derrick’s contract is annual, with a provision for automatically renewal each year.

Derrick will also be able to earn a 2.5 percent raise after two years, 1 percent higher than Murnane’s annual increases. Both contracts also included a $750 monthly car allowance.

Unlike Murnane’s contract, Derrick’s does not include severance pay.

Derrick’s official appointment was meet with a round of applause Tuesday night.

“Thank you very much; now get to work,” March told him.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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