Cole: Proposed Manager’s Salary Too High
Milton Dohoney Jr.’s chances to become Cincinnati’s next city manager apparently hinge on whether he will accept an annual salary less than the $185,000 offered by Mayor Mark Mallory.
At least five votes on city council are needed to hire Dohoney, and the swing vote — Laketa Cole — says a major factor in her decision will be how much Dohoney would be paid. Mallory’s initial offer to Dohoney is $9,000 more than the starting salary that his predecessor, Valerie Lemmie, got in spring 2002.
Dohoney has 22 years’ experience working for local governments in Kentucky, but hasn’t been a city manager before, Cole said. Dohoney currently is chief administrative officer for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, where he is paid $132,000 annually. He previously served as Louisville’s deputy mayor and public services director.
Those positions were for government administrations about half the size of Cincinnati’s, Cole said. As a result, hiring Dohoney to oversee a nearly $1 billion annual budget and a 7,000-member workforce would be a bit of a gamble, she added.
“I would be really interested in renegotiating his compensation package,” Cole said Wednesday, after city council questioned Dohoney for nearly three hours in a public session. “We’re about negotiating, so hopefully we can negotiate and come up with a compromise.”
Also, Cole is urging Mallory to delay a planned council vote on Dohoney’s hiring from June 21 to June 28, because Vice Mayor Jim Tarbell will be absent from the earlier meeting.
Mallory delayed a planned vote Wednesday because Councilman David Crowley, who supports Dohoney’s hiring, had to leave early to catch a flight to Washington, D.C. Also, the mayor wanted to give members “time to digest” Dohoney’s answers from the interview, he said.
It’s only fair that any vote be delayed until Tarbell, who opposes Dohoney’s hiring, returns from a long-scheduled trip to Paris, Cole said. If forced to vote without the entire council present, Cole likely will vote “no,” she added.
Referring to Mallory’s appointment of Tarbell as vice mayor, she said, “If he’s important enough to be vice mayor, he’s important enough to be involved in this decision.”
— Kevin Osborne