By Jane Smith
City commissioners are so thrilled with the performance of their interim city manager, they decided to raise his salary equal to the one paid to the city manager who resigned at the end of December.
Vice Mayor Jordana Jarjura, who did not seek re-election, suggested at the March 1 commission meeting to raise the salary of Neal de Jesus to be equal to Don Cooper’s pay as city manager.
At their March 16 meeting, three Delray Beach commissioners agreed to pay de Jesus $187,012.80 annually while he is the interim city manager. He had been making $159,000.
“A resounding yes,” said Commissioner Mitch Katz, who had the idea last year to ask de Jesus to fill in while the commission searched for a city manager. Commissioner Shelly Petrolia did not attend the six-minute meeting.
Now that the new commissioners are on board, de Jesus will prepare a list of search firm names.
In addition, de Jesus can return to his position as fire chief for the city. If it is his decision, he must give the city 30 days’ notice. The revised agreement also points out that de Jesus knows he can’t serve in both positions at the same time.
While acting as interim city manager, de Jesus will receive a $2,000 monthly housing allowance.
The city will pay any security deposits and/or prepaid rents that are required.