NEW HANOVER — Township Manager Jamie Gwynn received a contract extension and a $10,000 raise thanks to a unanimous vote of the township supervisors.
Prior to the vote, Gwynn was in the second year of a three-year contract through which he was being paid $123,000 this year; and would have been paid $128,000 next year.
Monday night, a new three-year contract, which runs through Dec. 31, 2023, was approved with essentially the same provisions as the previous one, except for salary and the potential for automatic extensions.
The current year is now the first year of the new contract and Gwynn's salary jumps to $133,000, an 8.1 percent increase, retroactive to Jan. 1.
In 2022, Gwynn will earn $138,00 and in 2023, a 3 percent increase, which will bring his salary to $141,840.
The new contract now also contains a provision that if his contract is "automatically renewed," he will continue to receive a 3 percent pay raise each year, all of which is dependent on an annual performance evaluation.
Gwynn's contract also provides an annual township payment into an eligible retirement account of 3 percent of his salary and an annual $300-per-month stipend for the use of his personal vehicle on the job.
Gwynn has also taken advantage of a contract clause by which he collected a $5,000 bonus to live in the township as well as $15,000 to help with the costs of moving to the township. He earns another $5,000 bonus after he has lived in town for three years.
"We've fallen in love with this township," Gwynn said of his wife and young daughter during a lengthy review he offered Monday night of his five-year tenure with the township.
Gwynn started at the beginning, noting he grew up in Wilkes-Barre "which was a very corrupt town," and said he decided early to lend his efforts to good government. He got a trial by fire when he interned for the mayor of Scranton at a time when the city had run out of money,
After working as a manager in a town of Northampton, Bucks County he was interviewed for the New Hanover post, a post which had seen "something like six managers over three years."
"When I got here, our finances were crap and had been for years. Nobody knew how much money we had," Gwynn said.
Now, not only have taxes not been raised during his tenure, taxes were lowered 5 percent in 2018 and the number of employees working for the township has dropped from 36 to 30, he said.
Since 2017, the township has repaired more than 74 miles of its 80 miles of road, said Gwynn.
Half-joking that he remains "underpaid comparatively," Gwynn said he plans to stay in New Hanover for the foreseeable future, in part because of the board of supervisors.
"Kurt (Zebrowski) tells me I could make more money elsewhere, 'but you won't find a board like ours,' and he's right," said Gwynn. "You're not politicians and it's refreshing to work with people who want to do the right thing for the township."
Besides, he said, "I make good money here."
Zebrowski, who is the board chairman, said Gwynn "gave us four years at a bargain."
"He has given us 110 percent," said Supervisor T. Boone Flint.
Gwynn also reviewed the measures he and the board have taken to hold developers to the letter of the law and the township's ordinances and keep a close eye on the booming development.
Pointing to a 2-hour discussion scheduled to follow the vote on his contract, which is the start of a comprehensive re-zoning of the township," Gwynn said, "and the best is yet to come."