Still No Plans To Review Manager

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Fort Myers Beach residents continue to wait. Town Manager Roger Hernstadt’s performance must be reviewed by this town council, in a public meeting, before the end of May. There are only 2 more opportunities for that to happen, if the council follows its own rules. Hernstadt is the highest paid employee on staff.

Hernstadt came to Fort Myers Beach after leaving Marco Island where he was the town manager for three years. While he did resign, in all likelihood he would have been fired if he didn’t. Hernstadt signed a developer’s application without the Marco Island town council’s approval during a time the town was trying to moderate growth. The council was not too happy about being left in the dark about a plan to build a 165-room hotel near Veterans Community Park. Hernstadt blamed his decision on advice he received from the Marco town attorney. After resigning Hernstadt asked Marco to pay him $100,000 in severance pay, according to NBC-2.

When Hernstadt was hired back in 2017 he was getting paid $140,000. That salary jumped to $155,000 90 days later. He is now paid a base salary of $171,000 which includes 15 days to work from home, not including his vacation time. He also receives $600 per month vehicle allowance.

Hernstadt’s pay increase to $171,000 was extremely controversial. It was railroaded through by the council in March of 2019, pushed by former Mayor Tracy Gore, who was about to be replaced on the council along with Dennis Boback. Anita Cereceda was the lone voice against the last-minute raise because Hernstadt’s contract called for a public evaluation, not a salary evaluation. With help from Joanne Shamp the raise was passed, handcuffing future councils, which, most of the time, elected officials do not want to do.

And, for good measure, that council also extended his contract through 2024. His original contract of four years would have expired this year.

6 COMMENTS

  1. I think the citizens should demand that their City Manager should have an evaluation. After all, he does work at the pleasure of the elected officials.
    I thought the contract extension by the out going Council was outrageous! All the more reason for our current council to evaluate the CM’s performance.
    That’s just good business.

    outrageous.

  2. No town employee can speak out against Roger, there job will be eliminated. What was the process/ who vetted Roger? It is very easy to get all the information on Roger Hernstadt, why is this not dealt with?

  3. You have to look much deeper than merely salary. There is a package usually full of perks. Always add them up and report the sum of the entire package.

  4. Cape Coral, City Manager Roberto “Rob” Hernandez makes $236,000 a year.
    City of Fort Myers, City Mangager Kazemi was hired in 2016 for $192,000 a year, and currently is paid $230,000. He is also paid a $750 monthly automobile allowance.

  5. Very disturbing. And on top of everything, his salary is outrageously out of line. The Town Manager salary in the state of Florida is $55,000-$100,000 (per Zip Recruiter). The Indianapolis Mayor makes no more than that.

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