John Mauro has accepted the position of city manager for Port Townsend. The city council is expected to vote on a contract for Mauro during a special meeting next week. (Brian McLean/Peninsula Daily News)

John Mauro has accepted the position of city manager for Port Townsend. The city council is expected to vote on a contract for Mauro during a special meeting next week. (Brian McLean/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Townsend City Council expected to approve city manager contract

Special meeting called for Monday for vote on resolution

PORT TOWNSEND — Port Townsend City Council members are expected to vote on a contract for a new city manager during a special meeting next week.

John Mauro, currently a chief sustainability officer in New Zealand, has accepted the position and plans to start Nov. 1, should the council approve the contract Monday night.

“We were hoping for a little sooner, but that’s what worked for his family and the activities he still has planned,” said Nora Mitchell, the city’s interim city manager who also is the finance and administrative services director.

An agenda bill for Monday’s special meeting includes the proposed contract language between Mauro and the city.

Mauro’s starting base salary is expected to be $156,000 annually, with adjustments consistent with other city department heads. He’s also expected to receive a standard benefit plan as offered to non-union employees, including long-term disability.

The contract does not have a set term.

“It would just be ongoing with the terms renewing,” Mitchell said. “The thought is we could amend it down the road as we determine if we want to have a set term.”

Mauro is set to replace David Timmons, who retired last month following 20 years after he was hired as Port Townsend’s first city manager.

Timmons’ final contract paid him $200,136, the top step of the city’s budget for the position ($158,211) plus 26.5 percent, Mitchell said.

He will remain on retainer through the end of December for possible work up to 25 hours per month at a total of $18,000, an action approved by the City Council on June 10.

If the council approves Monday’s resolution, Mauro would have a housing and relocation allowance of $20,000, an amount expected to be repaid during a two-year period if either party terminates the agreement. If separation happens earlier than two years, the amount to be repaid would be pro-rated, Mitchell said.

Standard among other city employees, Mauro will have about 13 percent of his annual wages paid toward the state Public Employees’ Retirement System, a benefit Timmons chose not to have, Mitchell said.

Mauro is set to receive a vehicle allowance of $5,400 per year, paid monthly. He would be reimbursed for mileage only if the distance is greater than 100 miles from the city.

The city also plans to pay premiums for a $50,000 life insurance policy, and Mitchell said Mauro would have the option of purchasing additional insurance at his own expense.

Mauro will have a performance review after his first six months on the job, and then annually thereafter.

Council members conducted a closed session at the end of Monday night’s 3½-hour meeting but did not take action afterward.

Mauro was the city’s preferred candidate out of four finalists who were interviewed last month. A months-long process that began last fall also included comments from a community task force, the public and an executive search firm.

Mauro has ties to the Northwest as a former policy analyst for the city of Seattle. Originally from Maine, he also worked as a former policy, planning and government affairs director for Cascade Bicycle Club in Seattle.

Mauro has a bachelor of arts degree in environmental studies and conservation biology from Middlebury College in Vermont. He also was the lone finalist for the town manager position in Windham, Maine, about 30 miles south of his hometown of Auburn, Maine.

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Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at [email protected].

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