New city manager releases his contract details

George Murray provides public disclosure of employment conditions, including $230,000 annual salary

The contract for Abbotsford's new city manager

The contract for Abbotsford's new city manager

New city manager George Murray has released all information pertaining to his recent hiring.

In a report to Abbotsford council scheduled to be presented on Monday night, Murray indicates that “in an effort to provide full public disclosure” he is presenting to council and therefore to the public, a copy of his employment contract.

Under the Financial Information Act of B.C., Murray’s salary did not have to be made public until the city files a Statement of Financial Information Report in mid-2014.

The city manager’s report indicates he will be paid $230,000 a year, plus additional benefits, to serve in the city’s top administrative role.

The city released Murray’s contract on Tuesday. It also includes six weeks of holidays and the use of a work vehicle or a car allowance of $700 per month.

Frank Pizzuto, the former city manager, was paid $321,000 in severance when he resigned from the position effective Jan. 4.

In 2011, he was the city’s highest paid employee, earning $249,000.

Murray’s salary will be reviewed annually by the mayor and council, and any increases in compensation will be at their discretion.

The contract states Murray will be on probation for one year, at which time the city may terminate his employment with cause.

If there is no cause, he can be dismissed with reasonable notice, or pay in lieu of reasonable notice, or given a combination of the two for up to 12 months of compensation. He would also receive an amount equal to the premiums for his benefits for a 12-month period.

In comparison, the City of North Vancouver’s manager earned $269,000 in 2011. Port Coquitlam’s chief administrative officer made $209,414 plus $5,869 in expenses the same year. The former city manager of Kamloops was earning a salary of $199,823 when he retired last year.

Murray was previously the secretary-treasurer of the Abbotsford School District for about seven years.

Shirley Wilson, a school board trustee, said during Murray’s tenure the board was in a sound financial position with a surplus.

“I would attribute that to astute management.”

Murray moved to the position of chief administrative officer at the Fraser Valley Regional District for four years before accepting the position of city manager. He is a certified general accountant and had previously been shortlisted for the position.  Murray told The News one of his priorities is the “overall financial health of the city.”

He has been active in the community for years, having served as a board member during the BC Summer Games in Abbotsford in 2004 and the BC Seniors Games here in 2006.