Wobser contract: Four years, $120K

His new four-year deal spans through July 7, 2018.
Andy Ouriel
May 26, 2014
One buzzworthy contract signing in Ohio this year involves whether or not LeBron James rejoins the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Meanwhile, about 60 miles away, a different deal carrying significant importance awaits authorization from another heralded man.

But unlike LeBron, Eric Wobser signing in Sandusky is anything but a hard decision.

No drama surrounds Wobser, Sandusky’s newly named city manager, inking his name on a four-year contract crafted by Sandusky officials.

At Tuesday’s public meeting, city commissioners plan to vote on the deal. Shortly thereafter, Wobser should sign the agreement and begin working for Sandusky on July 7.

His new four-year deal spans through July 7, 2018.

Among the contract’s major highlights, Wobser stands to:

•Earn no less than $120,000 a year.

•Receive as much as $136,000 annually, from July, 7, 2015, onward if he completes certain yearly benchmarks set for him. The criteria for bonus pay revolves around Wobser developing, spearheading and implementing goals based on four city topics: economic and neighborhood development; financial management and budgeting; regional collaboration; and communications, marketing and community engagement.

•Obtain health insurance all other city employees can subscribe to.

•Acquire 15 paid administrative leave days — which can be used on vacation, sick leave or personal time, among other reasons — in the first full year he works for Sandusky. Any days not used up until July 2015 can’t carryover into future years and will be forfeited.

•Amass 14 years of total service time after his first full year of employment. This is for vacation purposes. He stands to receive three weeks of vacation time in his second year. He can then accrue and carry over any unused time in accordance with Sandusky’s bylaws. In the contract’s third and fourth years, Wobser can receive four weeks of vacation each year.

•Reap $6,000 annually for reimbursements related to education, professional development and membership fees.

•Collect $10,000 to cover relocation costs when he eventually moves into Sandusky.

“I think it’s a very fair contract, given his qualifications, his education and his experience,” said Sandusky ex officio mayor Dennis Murray Jr., who’s also a lawyer and helped develop this deal. “Eric wanted to have it as a four-year term to have some security. But the fact that he is willing to come back to Sandusky is such a wonderful thing for our community”

Another interesting stipulation: If city commissioners vote to fire Wobser anytime during this four-year contract, then officials — using local taxpayer funds — must purchase the city manager’s home at fair market value if he can’t sell his house within a four-month period after getting terminated.

“Unlike a contract which provides salary continuation (after getting fired), this is a wash for the city,” Murray said. “Yes, we might potentially have to put up cash, but we get an asset of equal value”

Comments

44870 South

Sounds good to me! Best of luck Mr. Wobser! We are counting on you to help turn Sandusky around and restore it to the true gem on the water that it has the potential to be!

Gardenman

The City Commission better like this one for they are on the line for $480,000 + in salary alone. He must satisfy the majority on the commission to give that number of years and that is OK if they do feel that way and give that thumbs up in confidence.

I remember a short while ago commissioners thought too that Ard was it but we found out that did not work out. Thankfully, she did not have this kind of long term contract.

The hope has always been there is somebody who comes to this job that does the job and the commission is happy with. At this point we are soon to start the honeymoon period of the contract and lets hope all goes well from that point on.

From just the contract that Wobster got and obviously negotiated for I am already impressed with him. He is one smart cookie in my opinion. I a couple years ago long before he even thought about coming to Sandusky I had dealing with the Ohio City Development area. At that time I was told he was a very sharp and knowledgeable person and his underlings I dealt with one on one were I felt were equally were well supervised by him.

KURTje

Best wishes Eric. Glad to see some one who is native to the area. Be smart - hire local.

Justwow

Good luck sir and congrats! I think they made a good choice. I know you want change and progress. I hope you can do it with what you have to work with.

From the Grave

Hey~I got mine.

SamAdams

I have no quibble with the terms of the contract. I have no argument against Mr. Wobser who (in a refreshing change of pace) seems very well qualified for the position of City Manager. My only caution: The City Commission has almost single-handedly run off managers before by micro-managing, "stirring the pot," and in other ways being unreasonable.

My advice to Mr. Wobser: Do what you've already shown you can do, and you'll be a success here -- which is wonderful, because that means the City will be more successful, too! My advice to the City Commission: Let Mr. Wobser do what you've hired him to do!

reserved

This comment is spot on!

T. A. Schwanger

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I briefly met Mr. Wobser during the Kids Fest and Safety Fair. He seems energetic and sincere and wish him the best of luck.

SamAdam's posting is spot on.

As for Mr. Wobser's contract, the main concern taxpayers should have is the City Commission agreeing to buy back Mr. Wobser's home should his contract be terminated. The taxpayers could be on the hook for a huge sum of money.

While a vibrant downtown is desired, and it's well on it's way thanks to entrepreneurship, the best the community can hope for is a renewed effort by the new City Manager to address major issues in areas away from downtown and streets leading to Cedar Point.

reserved

"...the main concern taxpayers should have is the City Commission agreeing to buy back Mr. Wobser's home should his contract be terminated. The taxpayers could be on the hook for a huge sum of money." Really? That is your main concern? Have you even looked at home values currently? If, in the end, the City has to buy back Mr. Wobser's home AND they're on the hook for a huge sum of money, then they should also throw Mr. Wobser a HUGE party because he will have clearly done his job and done it amazingly well.

T. A. Schwanger

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@reserved

The "buyback clause" is for contract termination in the first 48 months taken to mean if terminated in the first 4 years, the City Manager has done a horrible job.

The City Manager's failure or success is dependent on the individuals overseeing him/her--the City Commission.

The Bizness

A vibrant downtown will help address major issues away from it. You need a vibrant city center to have a vibrant city. We also need to attract new industry.

Nemesis

"A vibrant downtown will help address major issues away from it. You need a vibrant city center to have a vibrant city. We also need to attract new industry."

Whenever someone starts throwing around the nonsense term "vibrant," I can't help thinking, here we go again.
Define that word in a manner that can be measured (I won't hold my breath.) The worst investment I ever made was buying a house in a community whose mission statement and promotional literature was peppered with that word.

Typical youthful magpie philosophy - it's all about an exciting entertainment district downtown, bright lights and noisy shiny crap of no intrinsic value except for preening and presenting to the crowd. Cleveland has had plenty of downtown resurgence and the neighborhoods are still slums, because it's not glamorous to invest in the everyday living needs of ordinary people. It's just like cities that tear down unexciting strip malls filled with vendors that sell things people in the neighborhood need, like toothpaste and peanut butter and flashlight batteries, at prices they can afford, and build some "lifestyle village" shopping-as-experience development full of overpriced boutiques selling the tools of fashion conformity.

Life is not all about flash.

Julie R.

Doesn't anybody find it odd all the perks that the city commissioners have given this new city manager? If I heard right, Sharon Johnson said with all the perks his salary will be around $168K a year but according to Murray it will "only" be $136K.

$168K/or $136K added on to what Sandusky's law director makes, it's easy to see why the safety of the citizens in Sandusky have to be sacrificed by laying off firemen and police.