Aho gets raise after contentious meeting

AUBURN — Councilors voted 5-2 Tuesday to extend City Manager Glenn Aho's employment contract through 2013 and approved a 2.9 percent salary increase.

Belinda Gerry and Eric Samson voted against the contract.

With the new contract, Aho receives an annual salary of $105,900. He received no bonus and no cost-of-living increase but did get a 2.9 percent raise for satisfactory performance.

Councilors were free with their public compliments of Aho but stopped short of airing criticisms.

They were scheduled to discuss Aho's job performance behind closed doors in an executive session. They needed five of seven votes to close the doors, but Councilors Gerry, Mike Farrell and Dan Herrick voted against it.

Herrick and Farrell both said they didn't think a closed door meeting was necessary.

Aho had asked councilors to fill out and return evaluation forms, and said none of the forms he received had any negative comments.

"I didn't turn mine in because I kept changing my answers," Ward 5's Gerry said.

"Overall, I agree the city manager has done a good job, but there were several areas where I was not happy with the way things turned out," she said.

She began to list areas where she was dissatisfied, beginning with Aho's handling of the city's budget. But Councilor Eric Samson stopped her from continuing, saying those kinds of discussions belonged in an executive session.

Aho agreed.

"I love the city of Auburn, but I think I deserve a little better than this," Aho said.

Former Councilor Ron Potvin wasn't under any obligation to not speak, and he blasted Aho. Potvin blamed the city manager for difficult budget discussions last month and for several top city department heads resigning. He asked councilors to withhold a raise and not extend Aho's contract.

"I suggest that the city manager is deeply out of touch with the people in this community," Potvin said.

Councilor Ray Berube defended Aho, saying that the number of department heads leaving the city represented better accountability.

"That's something we've never had in this city, ever before," Berube said. "So you need to hear both sides of the issue before you speak."

Herrick said he didn't return his evaluation form in either.

"I think the city manager knows where I stand," he said. "A piece of paper or a public meeting don't matter."

staylor@sunjournal.com

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Comments

 's picture

Mr. Aho was directed to

Mr. Aho was directed to reduce the budget. He did so.

Many of the union hacks in this town ARE overpaid in terms of overall compensation. Time to bring it back to reality.

Good job Mr. Aho.

 's picture

Mr. Aho was directed to

Mr. Aho was directed to reduce the budget. He did so.

Many of the union hacks in this town ARE overpaid in terms of overall compensation. Time to bring it back to reality.

Good job Mr. Aho.

 's picture

I believe the bottom line is

I believe the bottom line is the fact that the problems are bigger than the people who have to deal with them. That however is the way of Democracy. Want change? Keep voting for folks like Obama & the Democrats and soon we will be a Communist country.

Brian Franck's picture

Mr. Eric Samson

I agree completely with the comment by "Jo" regarding this repugnant city councilor! I was very pleased that this individual lost the election for county sheriff as well as an earlier failed attempt to become Mayor. He should not be serving on the city council and allowed to continue to meddle in city politics. Taxpayers would do well to remember that Mr. Samson, in a previous term on the council, voted in favor of a plan for new real estate taxes based upon the re-evaluation of residential and business properties. This in effect has caused great financial hardship on many of the citizens of Auburn! By his actions, Mr. Samson has demonstrated quite clearly that he is no friend of Auburn's taxpayers. He should be removed from the council!

Mike Wendell's picture

All these complaints...

With all these complaints, how come no one aired them at the meeting?

 's picture

Mr. Taylor, a reporter should strive for accuracy,

While Councilor Gerry lives in Ward 5, she is an at large councilor.

 's picture

Mr. Aho

Mr. Aho should be careful what he wishes for, as he might get it! He favors certain employees over others, especially those he considers "eye candy". In my over-40 years working in the business community, I have never encountered such an unprofessional manager. A new employee goes home at noon 2-3 days a week, yet gets paid her full salary. How can this happen? Because she is one of his few favorites. He lacks the intelligence to realize that treating staff well will result in better motivation and productivity. Instead, he threatens with statements like: "I don't get mad I get even." His everyday demeanor is one of looking for some poor staffer to be the victim of his ire.
I agree that Councilman Berube ought to stay out of city hall. Especially if he does not possess the motivation to do anything but hang out in Mr. Aho's office and tell him what to do. You're retired, Mr. Berube,if you can't be effective in your role, find a hobby!
Finally, the council needs to look beyond Mr. Aho's candy coated exterior and dig into what is going on inside the City building. Since his reign began, no smiles, fun or comraderie. With Ms. Roy, the Finance Director who has erected many locked doors within department for thousands of dollars, he fosters distrust among the staff. Fortunately is doesn't work, it just fosters distrust toward them.
Can anyone tell me why Ms. Roy was allowed to spend thousands of dollars installing locked doors at Public Works (to protect the money from insiders not outsiders!) when they were collecting for $20 waste permits for one month! These are the things that need to be brought out in the public eye and shame on the Council for not looking beyond the surface of what is told them.

 's picture

Must be nice...

...my taxes go up and I'm not getting a raise. I actually perform very well in my job. Nice.

 's picture

What they should have given

What they should have given Aho is a one way bus ticket back to the county with a cfriminal trespass notice not to return!

 's picture

Both the city and Mr Aho have

Both the city and Mr Aho have been put between a rock and a hard place last year. I think they have all done a very good job. The state has another structural deficit coming up, that will probably reduce "matching" funds again. Property taxes are gonna go up. The difficulty is going to get more contentious.

DANNY FITZSIMMONS's picture

the only thing this SOB needs

the only thing this SOB needs is a LE on the end of his name to truly describe him!

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