By Holly Cook
The Roeland Park city council last week approved a 1.5 percent raise for city administrator Keith Moody. The increase in salary bumps Moody’s pay to $103,530.
The motion passed with a 5-3 vote. Councilmembers Sheri McNeil, Tim Janssen, Erin Thompson, Teresa Kelly and Michael Poppa voted in favor of the raise and Becky Fast, Michael Rhoades and Ryan Kellerman voted against it.
Poppa said he voted for the pay increase because Moody “deserves it.”
“Mr. Moody leads a small team with few resources that work very hard to accomplish city goals,” Poppa said. “I commend their dedication to our residents and our community. And I’m honored to be able to work with them.”
Prior to the vote, councilors engaged in a lively debate on whether they should go into executive session to discuss Moody’s contract. Fast asked how the executive session ended up on the agenda in the first place.
Kelly supported moving the conversation into executive session.
“I think it’s in poor form to deny someone a request to discuss their contract,” Kelly said.
Mayor Joel Marquardt agreed.
Councilors did end up meeting in executive session and voted quickly and without discussion after reconvening.
When asked why he voted against the raise, Kellerman told the Shawnee Mission Post that councilmembers had already discussed Moody’s contract during a previous executive session and determined the salary would not be increased.
“There was no reason to readdress the topic,” Kellerman said. “Our city will never move forward if we keep changing our minds after the decision has been agreed to. It was a simple case of someone deciding they wanted more than they agreed to and forcing the topic to be discussed again.”
Moody told the Shawnee Mission Post that it was not his recollection that the contract terms had been settled prior to last Monday’s meeting. Moody also pointed out that two councilmembers were absent from the previous executive session when the contract was discussed.