Edgewood’s former city manager, who parted ways with the city earlier this month as Edgewood prepares to change its form of government, will collect more than $62,000 in severance pay plus six months of health care coverage.
The agreement obtained by The News Tribune states Mark Bauer will receive $10,343 per month for six months in addition to accrued vacation. The city also will pay for his health care premiums during that time.
The severance payments “shall cease upon Mr. Bauer’s employment in a similar full time position at a comparable rate of pay,” according to the agreement.
Bauer and the city agreed to end his five-year employment in preparation for the transition from a council-manager government, in which a city manager runs day-to-day operations, to a strong-mayor system that shifts those responsibilities to an elected mayor.
The Edgewood City Council unanimously approved Bauer’s severance agreement March 31, the same day his employment ended.
The agreement states that Bauer served the city “in a professional and thoughtful manner,” and he and the Edgewood City Council “mutually desire to professionally and amicably terminate his employment.”
Bauer’s annual salary was $124,116.
His severance agreement states that the city won’t oppose his efforts to seek employment elsewhere, and Mayor Daryl Eidinger will serve as a reference for any potential future employer.
Eric Phillips, formerly the assistant city manager, is leading the city in an interim capacity until the mayoral election results are certified.
The election is Aug. 4. Eidinger, who was appointed as mayor by fellow council members, and Edgewood resident Wendal Kuecker have both said they will run for the new strong-mayor position, which carries a four-year term.
Bauer couldn’t be reached for comment.
Personnel records obtained by The News Tribune show that Bauer was a respected leader within City Hall.
“Mark has a great understanding of the city’s needs and direction,” former Mayor Jeff Hogan wrote in a 2013 performance review, adding that Bauer “has shown good leadership with his staff” and “has developed a very good team at the city.”
Still, Bauer faced outside criticism over several issues. Some of his critics spurred Edgewood’s change-of-government measure with a citizen-led petition last year.
One of its organizers was resident Eric Docken, who filed a lawsuit in January that ultimately led the East Pierce city to overturn a contentious and short-lived utility tax.
A letter that circulated along with the petition last spring referred to the defeated tax and suggested the proposed change in government was meant to take power from Bauer.
The measure passed in the general election by a margin of 31 votes.