New Basalt town manager finally hired, gets $155,000 salary |

New Basalt town manager finally hired, gets $155,000 salary

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times
Ryan Mahoney

The Basalt Town Council finally inked a deal Tuesday after six weeks of negotiations to bring in Ryan Mahoney as the next town manager.

Mahoney will start June 26.

“I’ve started all the wheels in motion,” Mahoney told the council via telephone from his home in Marana, Arizona. “Can’t wait.”

The two-year contract was approved 7-0 by the council. Mahoney will be paid $155,000 annually, according to the contract. The salary range was advertised as $124,000 to $170,000.

The benefits package includes the same retirement contribution provided to other employees at 5 percent of annual salary, plus he is entitled to standard matching contributions to his retirement program.

He starts with 20 days of vacation with a caveat. Mahoney has arranged to take off from July 17-28. He will take five days of bereavement plus five days of vacation that is in addition to the 20 days regular vacation.

Mahoney, 41, is married with two young children. The town will provide the family with a town-owned three-bedroom, three-bath unit at Willits Town Center. The rent is free, but Mahoney will pay utilities.

At the end of his first year of employment, Mahoney can terminate the lease and substitute a $2,000 per month housing allowance for the second year.

The contract negotiations dragged on because the council regularly meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, so there was a lag between negotiations.

“We’ve beat this [contract] for a while on various issues,” Mayor Jacque Whitsitt said. She said the town failed to properly revisit contract issues with its manager in the past. She vowed the council will look at Mahoney’s contract six months before it expires.

One of the points that took longest to resolve with this contract was the severance pay provision. If the town government doesn’t renew his contract after two years, Mahoney will get nine months of severance pay, according to the contract. He also will be able to stay in the Willits condo, if still there, until the end of the school year to avoid disruption of his children’s education.

The council paid particular attention to details because it has been in a prolonged battle with former manager Mike Scanlon over his departure in August. Scanlon has placed the town on notice of a possible lawsuit. However, representatives of the two sides met in mediation May 25. Town Attorney Tom Smith advised the council on those discussions Tuesday night in an executive session closed to the public.

Mahoney was a finalist in fall 2012 when Scanlon was hired. This time around, he was the council’s top choice out of a field of 58 applicants.

Mahoney is currently the development services director for the town of Marana, Arizona. He leads a 20-person team that includes the planning, building and development engineering branches, according to his resume. He joined the town of Marana as planning director in 2013 and was promoted last year, his resume showed.

Whitsitt suggested Mahoney should expect to hit the ground running, so he should enjoy his remaining time in Arizona.

“Have a lot of fun because it’s going to be a lot of work,” she told him.

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