ST. PETE BEACH — The City Commission likes how City Manager Mike Bonfield is running things and is considering giving him a raise for the first time since 2007.
"Four years is a long time," Vice Mayor Jim Parent said during a recent commission meeting.
Bonfield was originally hired in 2002 at an annual salary of $89,000 and received merit raises and cost of living adjustments each year through 2007.
"I am happy with the job and I am not complaining," Bonfield said, stressing that any reports that he received raises when other employees did not were "misstatements."
His current salary is $117,180.96 and his contract with the city expires in January.
The commission is expected to discuss Bonfield's performance evaluations, salary and a contract extension at the meeting next Tuesday.
The commission rated Bonfield's performance in six different areas – organizational and personnel management, fiscal management, planning, relations with the commission, citizen and intergovernmental relations, and professional/personal characteristics.
Each area was subdivided into three of four subcategories for which commissioners assigned a rating: 1 (poor), 2 (fair), 3 (good), 4 (very good) or 5 (excellent).
Some commissioners added extra comments explaining or adding to their evaluation.
Overall, Bonfield received a 4.45 rating, half-way between a "very good" and an "excellent."
"I believe Mike does an outstanding job as our city manager," Mayor Mike Finnerty wrote in his evaluation. "The level of service the residents and tourists enjoy are the direct result of his dedication."
He rated Bonfield a 4.48, giving him 5's for organizational, personnel and fiscal management.
Bonfield's performance ratings in any of the evaluations did not drop below a "3," which he received twice in the planning area, and twice for his relationship with the commission.
Commissioner Bev Garnett gave Bonfield the lowest overall marks, averaging a 3.8 or just shy of a "very good."
"Our city is looking very tired and for the residents and the tourists alike we need to spiff it up a bit," Garnett said.
She called for Bonfield to secure grants and other funds to renovate and beautify Gulf Boulevard and Pass-a-Grille.
She praised Bonfield for managing the city's finances in a "responsible manner" and his ability to recruit "talented" staff.
The majority of the commission evaluations were peppered with "4's" and "5's."
Both Shavlan and Commissioner Al Halpern gave Bonfield overall 4.8 ratings, praising him in particular for his fiscal management.
"There's no one better with the budget," Commissioner Marvin Shavlan wrote in his evaluation.
In the coming year, Halpern said Bonfield needs to follow up more on minor issues raised by commissioners.
Shavlan wants Bonfield to "evaluate all department heads" to "determine if there are better people out there."
Vice Mayor Jim Parent called for Bonfield to use "more out-of-the-box thinking," particular for public safety issues, and to partner more with the commission in developing a strategic plan for the city.
Parent gave Bonfield high marks overall, averaging a 4.4. He rated Bonfield a consistent "5" for fiscal management and professional/personnel characteristics.