Newly hired City Manager Alex McIntyre's contract needed a final stamp of approval from the council. Which it got, but not with a unanimous vote. Much to his colleagues' surprise, Councilman Andy Cohen voted against the contract that he'd previously supported.
He said that after a resident questioned why Mr. McIntyre needed a loan from the city to buy a home within Menlo Park, that he, too, wondered why the man couldn't buy a home on his own.
The contract gives the new city manager an annual salary of $199,000, plus a monthly $320 car allowance, along with insurance benefits, according to the city. Menlo Park will loan $1.35 million to Mr. McIntyre for buying a home in the city, with interest at 3.5 percent; his predecessor, Glen Rojas, also received a home loan. In addition, Mr. McIntyre get $9,500 per year in contributions to a 401-A retirement plan.
Mayor Kirsten Keith thanked Mr. Cohen for his input, but reminded everyone that the council had unanimously agreed to the terms during negotiations. "People can change their minds," she said. "But it's important to note there was unity."
Historically, the council noted, it's been important to Menlo Park to have the city manager live within city limits.
It then voted 4-1 to approve the contract.