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St. Charles city manager's future still unclear

Published: Friday, July 5, 2013 6:08 p.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, July 6, 2013 8:02 a.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles City Council approved yet another contract extension for City Manager Brian Townsend as the two parties continue to hash out details of a new contract.

City officials won't say what specifically is holding up contract talks because negotiations are ongoing. But Townsend's current contract, inked in 2009, indicates that his severance package, should he be terminated without cause, adds up to about $210,000.

Townsend earns about $217,000 annually, according to city officials, which includes a $600 monthly vehicle allowance and health insurance.

The severance package includes his aggregate salary plus all employment benefits, including accruals of sick leave, holidays, personal leave and health insurance. The vehicle allowance is not included, pushing the 12-month severance pay to about $210,000.

Townsend's contract last was negotiated in 2009 and expired May 6, after Mayor Ray Rogina was seated to replace former Mayor Don DeWitte. The City Council has approved three 30-day contract extensions since it expired, with the most recent extension approved Monday.

City officials said because the contract still is being negotiated, they won't talk about the specifics and what issues remain outstanding in negotiations.

"I'm not going to discuss the particulars of it," Rogina said earlier this week. "That's about the limitation of the extent of what I want to say about the contract."

Rogina said that Townsend's performance has never been an issue and said he appreciates his acumen and knowledge.

DeWitte, who was mayor when the 2009 contract was signed, said earlier this week that he didn't think the council needed to engage in such "hardball negotiations" with Townsend, who he said has "established such a clear record of leadership."

DeWitte said he is not sure what the sticking point is, but said Townsend is a city manager worth retaining.

"I'm not sure the risk is worth not having someone to lead St. Charles through many key projects coming in the future," he said.

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