A proposal that would have made Henderson’s city attorney the highest-paid such official in Southern Nevada died Tuesday night after City Council members balked.
Josh Reid, who has been city attorney since 2011, would have gotten a 21 percent raise under a 3½-year contract extension proposed by Mayor Andy Hafen.
Instead of a raise, the council approved a 3 percent one-time bonus for Reid, who makes $208,075.
The contract would have given Reid an immediate raise of almost $10,000, plus a 3 percent raise each year between 2016 and 2020.
His salary in the last year of his contract would have been $252,721.
Had his salary been raised this year to $218,000, he would have been paid more than municipal attorneys in Clark County or Las Vegas — jurisdictions more than twice as large as Henderson — according to data collected by Henderson human-resources officials.
Reid’s late 2011 hiring was controversial. He is the son of U.S. Sen Harry Reid, who admitted lobbying Hafen and another council member to hire Josh Reid.
Reid addressed that four-year-old controversy as he presented a slideshow during his official performance evaluation Tuesday.
Showing a photo of a wild-haired Chris Farley, he said, “Certain media outlets gave the image that I was this guy … Chris Farley in the movie ‘Black Sheep’ — a guy who couldn’t get a job and needed big daddy to call and secure me a job.”
Council members praised Reid’s performance Tuesday, but said they did not feel comfortable with the extension and raises proposed by the mayor.
“I have some discomfort with what some of the provisions in that proposal are,” said Councilman Sam Bateman, adding that he wants to see more detailed comparisons with other local attorneys’ pay.
Hafen appeared frustrated, saying he wanted Reid’s pay to be reasonable — not the highest in the area, but not the lowest.
Councilwoman Debra March said she wants to address a possible contract extension for Reid next year, when a new city manager will be in place. Reid’s current deal expires in July 2017.
After some debate among the council, Reid said he had not sought the contract extension and proposed taking it off the table.
Before hiring Reid in 2011, the City Council voted to change the required qualifications for the job. Previously, a city attorney had to have worked in government for five years, which Reid had not.
That led to criticism the council had watered down its standards for the son of Nevada’s most powerful politician.
But council members defended the change, saying Reid was the best qualified person and the old standards were too limiting.
Contact Eric Hartley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-550-9229. Find him on Twitter: @ethartley.