Thornton council settles contract, hires manager

Kevin Woods will earn $212,000 per year to serve at helm of city


Thornton will pay its new city manager a $212,000 annual salary, according to a two-year contract city councilors signed Aug. 22.

According to the contract, Thornton will also pay up to $5,000 in moving costs to help new manager Kevin Woods relocate to Thornton from his current home in North Carolina and $2,500 per month temporary housing expenses for three months.

Councilors approved the contract at the end of their Aug. 22 meeting, which was streamed live over the internet.

“Mr. Woods, I hope you are watching this evening,” said City Councilor Josh Zygielbaum. “I am definitely excited to have you join our community.”

Woods is a former Army colonel the city council selected after a national search.He’s currently the manager for the town of Stallings, North Carolina. That’s a suburb of Charlotte with an estimated population of 15,400.

“I’m just excited to have him start on October 2nd,” Mayor Heidi Williams said. “We’re all looking forward to it.”

Woods replaces Jack Ethredge, a 32-year city employee who stepped down in March. When he left Thornton, Etheredge was paid $229,647 per year.

Jeffrey Coder, deputy city manager for development under Ethredge, has been acting as interim manager since Etheredge stepped down.

Contract details

The contract is good through October 2019 but calls for an annual performance evaluation by city councilors each fall, with both councilors and Woods agreeing on goals and performance objectives for the coming year. It requires Woods to give the council two months’ notice if he plans to resign and reimburses him for health, dental and life insurance for 30 days if he is terminated and provides a severance package of six months of his base salary.

According to contract, any raises the city manager gets will be settled during the city’s annual budget discussions, with any salary increases beginning with the new budget. However, the contract does allow the city to give Woods a merit bonus during his annual performance evaluation.

Woods already receives full health benefits as part of his military retirement package, but the city will pay any premiums he owes under that military plan.

Other benefits include:

A $500 per month automobile allowance or a city provided vehicle;

A monthly technology stipend to pay for a home computer, internet access, mobile phone and office supplies;

The city pays 6.85 percent of Woods’ annual salary into an International City Management Association retirement plan. He can also participate in the Retiree Health Savings plan available to all city employees;

Woods receives 20 days of vacation on his first day and another 20 days at the beginning of the year.

Woods will begin the job on Oct. 2, giving him time to finish his work in North Carolina and move to Colorado.

Woods served as deputy commander for U.S. Army South, based in Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio,Texas. He’s been the town manager of the Charlotte suburb since 2013.

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