For the second year in a row, Tacoma City Manager T.C. Broadnax scored high marks from the City Council in his annual review.
The council renewed Broadnax’s contract Tuesday, which comes with a $7,945 raise, bringing his annual pay to $243,318. He will also receive an added $3,878 in a deferred compensation account, bringing that total to $18,000. Together, the additional amounts represent a 4.7 percent increase to his total compensation.
His other perks, including a $550 per month car allowance and a parking spot at city hall, will remain the same.
Over the past several months, four council members have met in a separate committee to review the city manager’s performance. They asked all council members to rate him on 10 areas, including providing advice to the City Council, his implementation of council policies, employee management and job effectiveness.
He earned an overall score of 2.7 out of 3. His knowledge of budgeting and financial management principles earned a rating of 2.9 out of 3.
Councilwoman Victoria Woodards, one of the council members on the review committee, said Tacoma got lucky when it picked Broadnax.
“I know there was a lot of speculation about the fact that he hadn’t been a city manager before, so some people would've said hiring T.C. was a risk,” Woodards said Tuesday afternoon. “I don't believe that, but if I did believe it was a risk, then it was the best gamble we ever took.”
Mayor Marilyn Strickland said at the evening council meeting that Broadnax has been “a very, very good bargain for the skill, expertise and passion” he brings to the city. She noted that since he joined city government in February 2012, the city’s bond rating has climbed, allowing the city to borrow money at a cheaper rate.
He also shaved $10 million off a $20 million loan from the state Department of Transportation by agreeing to repay the debt on repairs to the Murray Morgan Bridge four years early. He saved the city another $1 million by contracting for jail services with the city of Fife instead of the Pierce County jail, Strickland said.
She added that Broadnax‘s salary is on par with other officials in the area. Tacoma Public Schools Superintendent Carla Santorno made $249,000 last year, and Port of Tacoma CEO John Wolfe makes $257,088.
Broadnax’s 4.7 percent increase is lower than the 6-percent to 10-percent increases that the council approved for non-union city workers last year.
While Broadnax received high praise, council members did see opportunity for improvement.
The council thought he could do better at developing a public relations or marketing initiative to “increase awareness and enhance the profile and image of the city.” Broadnax scored a 1.8 out of 3 in that regard.
Remarks on Broadnax’s review were not attributed to specific council members. One said he needs to “be more visible to the community.” Another wrote that he should “continue to engage with residents and be yourself.”