LINCOLN — The former city councilman who has led planning and coordination of Lincoln’s $340 million arena and downtown development got a 16.4 percent salary increase after his first year on the job and then a 4 percent raise the second year.
One month after investment advisor Dan Marvin finished his first four-year term on the Lincoln City Council in the spring of 2009, he was tapped by Mayor Chris Beutler to coordinate groundwork in preparation for a citywide vote on the project. He was given a $70,000 one-year contract, which requires him to work at least 35 hours per week.
Lincoln voters approved the project — the largest public works project in the city’s history — and Marvin continued working as an independent contractor, acting as a project manager.
The second year in the role, his contract was bumped up to $81,500 — a 16.4 percent raise that dwarfed the 1.2 percent raise city employees received, on average, that year according to city data. The contract also called for 4 percent raises every subsequent year, if his performance was satisfactory.
The next year, his contract was increased to $84,760 – a 4 percent raise. City employees got an average raise of 1.3 percent that year, according to data from the city personnel office.
Nebraska Watchdog began asking questions about Marvin’s salary in April. Then in June, Marvin’s contract was lowered substantially without explanation. Marvin’s contract was recently renewed by the three-person board of directors overseeing the arena project, and this year, his contract was reduced 15 percent to $72,000 for the last 18 months of work he will provide, ending in December 2013.
Chief Assistant Attorney Rick Peo said the contract was reduced at Marvin’s suggestion. When asked why his contract was reduced, Marvin said via email, “I asked for less money” but did not respond when asked why. At the Joint Public Agency meeting where Marvin’s new contract was approved, there was no discussion about why the contract was reduced.
Marvin’s raises easily eclipsed those of the city employees he works alongside, including Beutler’s cabinet. The highest raise a department head has received since 2010 is 2 percent – and in 2011 all 13 directors and a half-dozen of the mayor’s staffers took a half-percent pay cut in a show of solidarity with struggling Lincolnites.
Reported by Deena Winter, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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