City Council Hires Layton As City Manager

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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After more than a week of negotiations, Wichita has finalized a deal with a new city manager, making Robert Layton the new top administrator at city hall.

Ending a very long and controverisal city manager search, Layton will start his first day of work on February 2nd.

As the new head of city hall, Robert Layton will make $185,000 a year. That's around $50,000 more than his base salary as city manager of Urbandale, Iowa.

He'll also get a severance of one year's salary if he's let go during his first two years with the city.

The council voted on the deal Thrusday afternoon, filling the job that's been empty for a year.

"It's a positive thing and it's a positive day at city hall to finally put this behind us," said City Council Member Jim Skelton.

The decision to chose Layton as city manager bitterly divided the council. He was picked from three finalists by a narrow four to three vote.

Council Member Sue Schlapp, who didn't think Layton had enough experience, voted against this contract saying the salary is too high.

"With the experience and the size of the community and that kind of thing I thought we might start at a different level," said Schlapp.

Still Schlapp says she will support him once he takes over. The mayor says while the council has been at odds over the choice of Layton it is ready to move forward.

"One thing I did recognize is al the decisions were for what was in the best interest for the City of Wichita and their love for the community," said Brewer.

The Wichita City Manager reports to the seven-member Council, oversees 3,100 employees, a $500 million annual budget and a $2.4 billion Capital Improvement Program.

Under his new contract, Layton will also get up to $5,000 in moving expenses, a $50 a month cell phone allowance and a $550 a month car allowance.

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