STEUBENVILLE - City Manager Cathy Davison has accepted a contract proposal offered Wednesday afternoon by City Council during a two-hour special council meeting.
Davison met behind closed doors with council for approximately 45 minutes and received a three-year contract offer that will continue her current $90,000 annual salary and benefits.
Davison's current three-year agreement with the city expires on March 15.
"I thought the evaluation went very well and I will be happy to be part of this community for another three years. I talked to my husband and son Wednesday evening to determine what is best for my family and the community," Davison said following the executive session.
"Another three years will allow consistency with the current programs and will allow the administration and City Council continue to stabilize our city government. We have already started to implement our 10-year strategic plan that was adopted by the City Council and are now creating strategic plans for each city department," cited Davison.
"I have plans to utilize our work force in a very efficient manner and to continue to provide exceptional service for our residents, businesses and visitors. I also hope to continue to work with council to respond to the ongoing changes in the economic development in our city," said Davison.
Council met in executive session for 75 minutes to review a proposed contract from Davison before asking her to join them for face-to-face discussions.
All questions after the meeting were referred by council members to 6th Ward Councilman David Lalich, the senior member of council and chairman of the finance committee.
"Cathy gave us a proposal that we reviewed and council unanimously agreed on our counter proposal. Our decisions were based on the current economic times. Its all about economics. Jefferson County currently has a 10.3 percent unemployment rate compared to the state unemployment rate of 7.4 percent. If our financial situation improves, council can give Cathy a raise at our discretion. Her current benefits remain the same in our counter proposal. It is the same three-year contract she now has," said Lalich.
Davison declined to accept contractual pay raises her first two years on the job.
Lalich said council decided to not offer a pay raise earlier this year during her March evaluation "based on the current bad economic times."
"We discussed several issues during her evaluation. Some of those issues we will keep to ourselves. We did discuss the Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel issue and how it may affect our city. We still have plans for economic development in the South End of the city and hopefully that will become a reality. And safety remains an important issue for us," related Lalich.
During her annual job performance evaluation in March, Davison was encouraged by council members to focus on building the city's water customers and attracting business to the downtown.
The annual job evaluation came as Davsion enters the third and final year of her current three-year contract.
Davison was offered the city manager's job in January 2010 following three days of interviews with City Council and a citizens review committee. She started her job on March 15, 2010.