Nov 082013

By Sam Conner
The Winslow City Council held a special meeting at noon Tuesday to adopt a contract for city manager candidate Stephen Pauken, contingent on his acceptance of the offer. The council interviewed Pauken in an executive session on Saturday. In the following regular session, the council voted to have staff continue negotiating with Pauken.
After a brief executive session Tuesday for legal advice, the council voted unanimously to approve the contract. The contract listed a base salary of $120,000 per year with a onetime moving expense compensation of not more than $5,000. The manager must live within 20 miles of Winslow.
Pauken is the city manager of Bisbee, and has held that position for some eight years.
The city had a plethora of applicants for the position vacated by retired City Manager Jim Ferguson. The candidates had been screened and evaluated by the council and representatives of the Arizona League of Cities and Towns. Two candidates were invited for interviews, but the other candidate had accepted a position in a city in North Carolina and withdrew her application for the Winslow post.
Interim City Manager and Attorney Dale Patton said that Pauken has agreed to the contract, but still must sign the document for it to become effective. After a question as to why Pauken would not be required to live in the city limits, Patton explained that the result of a lawsuit in the Valley was that restricting residence to that extent was not legal.
There was some comment from the audience that the salary was excessive.
One of the council members noted that Pauken had at least 20 years experience as a city manager and was well qualified for the position.