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Corvallis City Manager Mark Shepard has received another positive evaluation from the City Council.

City manager is one of three positions that is overseen by the council. The other two are the municipal judge and the city attorney.

The evaluation process was led by Ward 4’s Barbara Bull in her role as council president. The report praised Shepard for his role in putting together the city’s first strategic operations plan, his excellent verbal and written communication skills, the way he has earned the respect of the mayor, City Council and staff and his strong sense of integrity.

“The council continues to be very pleased with Mark’s performance,” summarized the evaluation, which became a public record with unanimous council approval Monday night. “Mark is an active listener and is able to professionally interact with community members and hold varying views on issues that affect the city.”

This is the third evaluation for Shepard, an Oregon State University graduate and long-time Corvallis resident who began his city manager stint in May 2015 after serving in a series of administrative positions with the city of Albany. See the online version of this story for the complete text of the evaluation.

“I am grateful that the City Council maintains a high level of confidence in my leadership of the organization,” Shepard said.

Shepard requested that he not be considered for a merit pay increase. He received a 3 percent merit increase last November.

“This was, in part, a recognition of where the organizations stands on critical funding issues,” said Shepard said, noting the public safety fee, property tax levy renewal and 9-1-1 emergency services district formation that are planned for the coming months.

“With three funding initiatives in the works, I think it is important to reinforce the message of the city’s financial responsibility to the community,” Shepard said. “Foregoing a merit increase for the chief administrator of the organization is part of that message.”

Shepard does receive the same 3 percent cost of living adjustment of other exempt city employees, which brings his annual salary to $182,469.04.

Because he did not receive a merit bump, Bull proposed increasing the amount of severance pay he accrues in case he is fired without cause. Shepard requested the severance clause in his contract because he serves at the pleasure of the council, which can completely turn over in one election cycle.

Shepard pointed out at Thursday’s council work session that once the new council is seated in January only Bull, Ward 7’s Bill Glassmire and Mayor Biff Traber outrank him in time served.

Bull’s severance upgrade passed on a 7-2 vote, with Charlyn Ellis (Ward 5) and Nancy Wyse (Ward 6) opposed.

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Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-758-9542. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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