Las Vegas City Council members doled out $30,000 in bonuses and 4 percent pay raises to the three executives who they directly supervise and can hire and fire.
The bonuses, which came amid yearly annual reviews on Wednesday, were reduced from previous years, officials said, because of lingering financial concerns. But the rewards were noteworthy, not because of the amounts, but because of who got them.
City Manager Scott Adams was given a $10,000 bonus with his raise and a new two-year contract that came with a heap of praise from elected officials for his work over the past year. The move comes only a month after his future appeared to be decidedly more cloudy.
In early April, the council nixed the auto-renewal clause in his existing contract, set to expire in July, and called for a review before discussing extending his employment. Adams said the council’s decision felt like they were firing him.
“You could offer me a subsequent contract that isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on that I’ll never sign,” he told the council on April 3, suggesting they were engaging in a unilateral negotiation of his agreement.
On Wednesday, the mood inside council chambers was far more optimistic.
Before and after presenting a list of accomplishments over the past 12 months in areas such as public safety and neighborhood preservation, officials lauded Adams. Councilwoman Michele Fiore, who previously questioned the city manager’s integrity and had been the leading proponent of canceling the auto-renewal clause, downplayed any discord to a simple disagreement over process.
Fiore insisted that evaluations should precede contract renewals, a point she said had since been resolved. As such, Adams’ new contract will run through July 2021, contains no automatic renewal clause and must be renegotiated before it expires.
“I think you and I are both publicly very passionate sometimes, and we make headlines,” she told Adams before making the motion for his bonus.
Adams was hired as the city’s top administrator two years ago, following 15 years as head of the redevelopment agency. His 4 percent pay raise will add to his current $249,335 salary, city records show.
City Attorney Brad Jerbic and City Auditor Radford Snelding also received $10,000 bonuses and 4 percent raises to add to existing salaries of $220,588 and $167,860, respectively, according to records.
“I pledge to work with each and every one of you going forward,” Adams told the council. He then echoed an earlier refrain from Councilman Cedric Crear: “We’ve got a lot of work to do. Let’s get going.”