VANDALIA — The Vandalia City Council voted to approve an annual bonus for City Manager Jon Crusey on Tuesday, but the vote wasn’t unanimous.
Mayor Arlene Setzer, who opposed Crusey’s retirement and rehiring last year, voted no on the resolution that will pay Crusey a lump sum bonus of $3,000. When asked about her vote, Setzer said it was because she opposes retire/rehire on principal.
“I just refer back to the retire/rehire thing,” said Setzer. “Otherwise I don’t really have any comment.”
Crusey’s bonus is based on a review that the council has been discussing since October of last year. In that review he is praised for “making choices that have strengthened the city” before citing hiring an assistant city manager, police chief, and management of the golf course. He is also praised for his financial management.
Council expressed concern about Crusey’s imagination without comment and also urged him to engage employees beyond department heads “to gauge morale and atmosphere.”
When asked if she had any specific concerns about Crusey’s performance, Setzer said that Crusey’s review is a “group project.”
Later in the meeting, an ordinance that would give Crusey the authority to allow department directors to retire and be rehired was tabled to allow for changes to be made. That ordinance is expected to come before council again at its February 4 meeting.
In other business, the council approved the purchase of a medic unit for the Division of Fire at a cost of $263,590. The city will again purchase a heavy duty medic chassis which the city believes will add an additional 3-5 years to the life of the vehicle.
Council also approved a 2-year contract with Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks for its annual Star Spangled Celebration held on July 3. The contract will cost $27,000 annually which is the same as the 2015-18 shows.
City staff is in the process of securing sponsors of the event to defray expenses. Butler Township has typically paid half of expenses after sponsorships.
Finally, council approved a $250,000 Economic Development/Government Equity (ED/GE) grant agreement with Montgomery County for the AxoGen project at 913 Industrial Dr. The company is expected to invest more than $10 million into the former Veolia building and will bring 228 new full-time jobs to the city with a payroll of $9.3 million per year.
The Vandalia City Council will hold its next regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. A study session will be held at 6 p.m. in the large conference room of the municipal building. Both meetings are open to the public.
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.