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Bentley gets raise, bonus

by Christy Chalmers, staff writer

Indian Hills General Improvement District Manager Jim Bentley has been given a pay raise that was denied by a previous administration.

The GID board voted unanimously Tuesday to give Bentley a 2 percent raise and a bonus totaling $3,207.

The bonus equals $2,000 and the raise is $1,207. Bentley was making $60,366 a year.

The pay hike will be retroactive to July 1, when Bentley was due for his annual review and potential raise. But the review was marred by critical remarks from three of the five trustees. The three critical trustees are no longer in office.

Board members Steve Weaver and Ron Kruse, who gave Bentley good marks, suggested a two-fifths bonus – or 2 percent instead of the potential 5 percent – based on the reasoning Bentley had gotten good reviews from two of the five board members. Weaver also suggested waiting another six months, when Bentley will again be due for a review.

“I think we’re just opening ourselves to a lot of criticism if we go the full 5 percent,” said Weaver.

The other three trustees, who joined in July, August and September, respectively, said they were pleased enough with Bentley’s performance to authorize the 2 percent hike.

“I think he’s doing an excellent job,” said trustee Dianne Humble-Fournier, who joined the board in August.

In August, Bentley asked the board to expunge the comments made by the departed trustees from his file. At the time, he noted that if the positive remarks by Weaver and Kruse were considered, his contract called for a 5 percent raise.

Bentley said Tuesday he considered the evaluations “no longer an issue” and if the board thought they were done fairly, he would abide by the contract terms and go without a raise.

Weaver said the issue needed revisiting to ensure Bentley a fair evaluation. He suggested the three former trustees “predetermined” their opinions in an effort to oust Bentley.

“Something was wrong there, that’s for certain,” he said.