MADEIRA BEACH — If Tuesday were the Olympics, City Manager Shane Crawford would have won a gold medal in every event.
He received a 5 out of 5 point perfect score on all five City Commission evaluations — and a $3,615 raise, bringing his annual salary to $124,125.
"Never has the city of Madeira Beach made as many positive changes as we have under the guidance and leadership of Mr. Crawford. … We have now become leaders," wrote Commissioner Elaine Poe in her review.
Under Crawford's management, the city has broken ground on a $10 million municipal project that will include a new city hall, fire station and recreational complex. The city has also completed a multimillion-dollar transformation of Archibald Park, as well as addressed longstanding stormwater drainage problems and other infrastructure issues. A major new hotel is under construction, as is a new Publix shopping center.
Crawford began managing the city in 2012 at a starting salary of $117,000. In addition to his latest raise, the commission gave Crawford an additional five days of vacation, bringing his annual leave up to seven weeks.
The city manager was rated on more than 30 items in three categories — relationships with the commission, employees, the community, other governments and agencies; financial and organizational management skills; and personal characteristics.
"He seems to be on top of everything and I trust his judgment," said Vice Mayor Terry Lister.
Commissioner Nancy Hodges thanked Crawford for making her dream of new business and residential development, new hotels and restaurants in the city "finally become a reality."
Mayor Travis Palladeno praised Crawford for being "conscientious, reliable, and able to complete any task set in front of him."
Former Mayor and now Commissioner Pat Shontz said "it is a pleasure to come into City Hall," where she said employees reflect his personality.
Crawford also received gushing praise from residents, including one who had opposed and some former members of the commission who hired Crawford.
"I am proud of the commission and of Shane for doing such a wonderful job. We are witnessing an explosion of progress in our city," said former Commissioner Len Piotti, who in 2011 was involved in an aborted attempt to recall two commissioners sitting at that time, Nancy Oakley and Robin Vander Velde.
Crawford was hired later that year and began managing the city in January 2012. A year later, Oakley and Vander Velde declined to run for re-election and a new, more harmonious commission was formed.
"We have done it as a team," Palladeno said at one point.
Jim Everett, chairman of the city's Planning Commission, said he is "incredibly impressed" with Crawford's management of the city, which he said has become much more efficient, and "proactive instead of reactive."
Crawford credited his father, Kevin, a former mayor of Manitowoc, Wis., for getting him interested in city management, as well as a former supervisor, David Bretl, the county administrator and county attorney in Walworth County, Wis.
"The public commentary was quite humbling and the embrace of the constituents has made this whole rebirth of Madeira Beach a reality as well," Crawford said after the meeting. "It's only because of the good people that I've surrounded myself with that I'm successful."