The Winthrop Town Council approved a three-year contract extension for Town Manager James McKenna at its Nov. 21 meeting at the Joseph Harvey Room.
McKenna current three-year pact expires on June 30, 2012. His new contract will be in effect until June 30, 2015.
Council President Jeffrey Turco made the motion to extend the manager’s contract.
“I would urge the Council to approve the town manager’s contract extension,” said Turco. “He’s now had two successive reviews, both of which have been positive reviews. He got for the most part glowing recommendations.”
Following a unanimous vote by the Council, Turco said “congratulations, Mr. Manager” to McKenna as council members and people in the audience applauded.
McKenna then addressed the Council and the gathering.
“Let me just thank everybody,” said McKenna. “With all the change in politics and all the controversy going on, it’s still a great place to work.”
McKenna thanked town department heads and employees for their dedication and singled out “the volunteers who give countless hours to this community.”
“Winthrop is a wonderful community – it’s vibrant, things are happening, and I hope you think the things that are happening are positive.”
McKenna noted the presence of Council President-Elect Peter Gill in the room, saying that he “was excited to see Mr. Gill come in to office.”
Speaking to the audience and those watching the meeting live on WCAT, McKenna concluded, “It’s still your government and it will stay your government. I’m just happy to be here and happy to continue in my capacity as town manager to do a lot of the good things that we’ve got going on.”
Turco said the town manager’s salary will remain at approximately $127,500 while future pay raises will be determined by annual evaluations of his job performance.
Turco felt that in light of other communities actively seeking candidates for town manager vacancies, it was vital to retain McKenna as manager and give him and the town a sense of stability and security.
“It was important that we give him and the town the sense of security that he needed and that the town needed – so that we would have continuity in leadership in the town manager’s office.”
Turco said McKenna has had several accomplishments in office, including the implementation of a consolidation plan for town departments.
“He has brought a friendly face to town government and because of his personality and his style of leadership, it’s helped to make it possible to break down the walls that once existed between the school department and the town,” said Turco.