After months and months of looking, the Sunnyside City Council finally found its man to take the reigns as new city manager.
City Council members unanimously approved the contract of Robert Stockwell to serve as the new city manager of Sunnyside at Monday night's meeting.
Stockwell, who currently lives in Provo, Utah, was hired from a pool of 17 applicants. Stockwell replaces former City Manager Dave Fonfara, who now holds a similar position in Chelan. Assistant City Manager/City Attorney Mark Kunkler has been serving as interim city manager since Fonfara's resignation in January.
Stockwell will officially begin his duties as city manager of Sunnyside starting Monday, May 3.
At the April 5 meeting, Council announced its intentions to offer Stockwell a contract for the position of city manager. Stockwell and Scott McClure of Brush, Col. were the two finalists in the running for the city manager position. Council selected Stockwell following a trip by Councilmen Don Vlieger, Mike Farmer and Bruce Ricks to conduct background research in the hometowns of both finalists.
Mayor Ed Prilucik and Stockwell spent all of last week hashing out contract details. Prilucik said at this past Monday night's Council meeting both sides had reached an agreement to formalize a contract last Friday.
Stockwell was officially hired Monday night and will begin work as city manager on May 3. Stockwell will be paid $87,500 annually for his job as city manager. Per an agreement by both sides, said Prilucik, Stockwell will not receive regular step pay increases. Rather, said Prilucik, any increases or salary adjustments will be done during the city manager's annual review. Stockwell is the lone employee of the City Council.
Stockwell is not entitled to overtime pay, but rather will receive compensation for any hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week, said Prilucik.
If Stockwell is terminated by Council, he will receive a severance package, including six month's worth of pay. The Council also agreed to pay for vacation, holidays, health and life insurance and executive leave in the compensation package. However, if Stockwell is terminated as the result of violating any laws, he will not be eligible for the severance package.
The city also agrees to pay 100 percent of the premium for health, vision, dental, short and long-term disability and life insurance coverage for Stockwell and his wife, Sue.
Stockwell will receive a monthly reimbursement of $50 as a phone allowance for use of his private telephone.
The contract also calls for the allocation of $20,000 to assist Stockwell in moving from Utah to Sunnyside. The city will pay the moving expenses as long as they are billed to the city by Nov. 1.
Stockwell will also receive a monthly car allowance in the amount of $325. Stockwell will receive 160 hours, or one month, of vacation annually beginning with the first year of his employment.
Following approval of the city manager contract, Stockwell said he learned a lot about what kind of Council the city has through the mayor's negotiations. Stockwell said he is excited about starting his new position as city manager.
Several Council members voiced their pleasure in having Stockwell aboard as the new city manager.
"I feel like Sunnyside is going to be really well served by having Mr. Stockwell here," said Councilman Ricks.
Mayor Pro-tem Farmer said he feels Stockwell brings the city an opportunity to move forward into new areas to better the community.
"This employment agreement will treat Mr. Stockwell well," said Prilucik. "I also believe it will treat this city very well."
Stockwell holds a Bachelor of Science degree in justice administration and a Master's in public administration, both of which he obtained from Brigham Young University. Stockwell is the former city manager of Alamogordo, New Mexico, and the former city administrator for the city of Provo.
Stockwell and his wife, Sue, have six children and 14 grandchildren.