The contract of Fort Dodge City Manager David Fierke was extended until June 30, 2018, by the City Council Monday.
Fierke's base salary was set at $136,600.
The extension was approved on a 5-2 vote. Councilmen Kim Alstott, Dave Flattery. Andy Fritz, Jeffrey Halter and Terry Moehnke voted yes. Councilmen Dean Hill and Don Wilson voted no.
Flattery, who participated in the meeting by telephone, called the contract extension ''the right thing to do.''
He added that Fierke's salary is in line with that of city managers of similar communities.
''Losing him would set the city back, I think, six months to a year,'' Flattery said.
Moehnke said that Fierke is ''a very effective leader.''
''Fort Dodge is moving in the right direction,'' Alstott said after the council meeting. ''We can't afford to lose him.''
Hill and Wilson were part of a previous City Council majority that gave Fierke just one-year contract extensions. He had received three-year extensions since becoming the first full-time city manager of Fort Dodge in 2006.
On Monday, Hill and Wilson objected to the cost of the contract extension.
Wilson said Fierke is receiving a 4.5 percent raise when most city workers are getting a 2.25 percent raise.
Hill said Fierke's pay has risen by $25,000 since he began working for Fort Dodge.
Alstott said Fierke is receiving a 4.5 percent raise, but he couldn't confirm the accuracy of the assertion that his pay has risen by $25,000.
Hill said during the meeting that the city government would pay 100 percent of the city manager's health insurance premiums, but Fierke immediately said that he will be paying the same percentage that all other city employees pay.
Fierke's contract differs from those of other employees in a fundamental way, according to Jim Vollmer, the city's human resources director. He said all other employees have a pay matrix through which they can advance by what are called step increases as they gain seniority. Each step increase brings the worker more money. But Fierke doesn't have any step increases he can advance through, according to Vollmer.
He called the 4.5 percent raise ''tantamount to a step increase for any other employee.''