Scarce opposition at meeting to Middletown city manager’s raise

Of the more than 100 commenters online and on social media reacting to news that Middletown’s city manager would be receiving a $25,000 raise, only three people attended Tuesday’s city council meeting, where the salary increase was introduced.

And only one resident spoke in opposition of the increase.

Mayor Lawrence Mulligan announced last week that council was in agreement to give City Manager Doug Adkins a $25,000 raise as well future $5,000 annual raises over the next four years as part of a contract amendment. The salary increase would bump his annual salary up from $125,000 to $150,000.

During the citizen comments portion of the meeting, resident John Soppanish said while he thinks Adkins is doing a good job, he should have completed the current contract.

“My problem is that Mr. Adkins agreed to a five-year contract,” Soppanish said. “He’s doing a terrific job, but I say why are we amending a five-year contract? He agreed to it. Why don’t we wait until the five years are up then offer him the substantial raise you are offering him?”

He said the city’s infrastructure “is going down the river on a raft. You know it. I know it.”

“I believe myself that the contract should not be amended until it’s up,” Soppanish said. “This money should go to infrastructure, go to the police department or go to the firefighters. Give the man what is due to him after the five years are up. This town needs more of a facelift.”

COMMENTARY: Adkins right manager to lead Middletown

Mayor Larry Mulligan “clarified” some information about Adkins’ contract to the resident, saying the city manager signed to an intial two-year contract and this lays out the pay to his future compensation.

“I think there have been lot of merits and the great progress we’ve made,” Mulligan said. “We were in agreement in executive session that Mr. Adkins is deserving of this and it’s well earned and well deserved.”

The salary increase was introduced as an ordinance at Tuesday’s meeting and council is expected to approve the measure at its Sept. 6 meeting.

Council did approve Tuesday an emergency ordinance to pick up the employee contribution of Adkins’ contribution to the Ohio Personnel Employees Retirement System, which was another provision of the contract amendment.