Clarksburg city manager gets contract extension and raise

HARRISON COUNTY, W. Va. (WDTV) - Clarksburg's city manager has been given a contract extension and a three percent pay-raise despite push-back from the community on the move.

"At the end of the day I think we gave him what he deserved,"

Thursday evening Clarksburg city council made the move to extend their city manager Martin Howe's contract along with giving a three percent pay raise.

The move was made despite push back from multiple members of the community who spoke out.

Mayor Cathy Goings says the pay-raise was a decision that has been in the making for awhile.

"Over the years we have tried to increase his salary" Goings said "Because the city of Clarksburg city manager was underpaid compared to the rest of the state,"

The raise, going said, also was motivated in order to stay competitive and keep strong employees in the city

"We look at what others are doing throughout the state and we have to be competitive and that's why we did what we did," Goings said

However, when it came time for the final vote not all council members were in agreement.

"We were in 100% agreement at the time," Goings said of a meeting the council had held prior "Something happened between the meeting, and last night's meeting where we had a couple of council members who decided they wanted to pursue other avenues,"

With an upcoming city election, Goings fears political motive may have divided the council.

"In particular we had one council member who I believe is politically motivated, to change his idea and pursue a different avenue,"

And while members of the community have said the timing of this move is questionable, Goings says it goes along with protocol.

"We are required to do an appraisal of his performance every year, and because we work on a fiscal calendar the decision has to be made before July 1st,"

Most importantly, Goings said, the investment in an increased salary will save the city money in the long run.

"In the event that we would ever lose our city manager, it's gonna cost them a lot more money to recruit somebody here to fill his position,"

With the raise in place, city manager Martin Howe will be making $145,000 a year.