Genoa hires new manager |

Genoa hires new manager

Phil Ritger
Kurt Hildebrand |

Genoa resident Phil Ritger was named Genoa Town manager on Thursday, after board members agreed to offer him a starting salary of $49,461.

That opening salary would go to $52,000 in six months if Ritger can make up the difference by either cutting costs or generating revenues without affecting services.

Town Board members originally set a $46,000 cap on the position, but Ritger responded that he wanted $52,000, which is what his predecessor was being paid.

The town agreed that part of the difference could come from the less expensive insurance plan Ritger opted for, which would save $3,300.

The rest would have to come from savings or additional revenue.

“He’s going to have to be pretty creative to get that kind of blood out of this stone,” board member Brian Williams said.

Complicating the issue is that the town is going to have to come up with $4,700 to balance the budget.

Board member Nancy Aten asked what she should say to people who ask why the board agreed to pay Ritger more when they knew they had a shortfall.

“Very few people have the qualifications to run this town,” Whitgob said. “It’s a lot of job, and it takes a lot of person to handle it.”

Interim Town Manager Lisa Granahan said Ritger’s first day is Nov. 1

“I am excited that the town will have a manager who can devote his full attention to the job and look forward to continuing the strong working relationship between the town and the county,” said Granahan.

Ritger said his counteroffer was based on an anticipated increase in the county employee match for medical insurance.

Town board member Trent Tholen, also a county employee, said they’re looking at an 18-26 percent increase.

Ritger said the insurance his daughters have through their colleges is less expensive than the county insurance.