Oskaloosa Water Department Manager Seeks Employment Contract

Oskaloosa Water Board met Tuesday morning to discuss and consider a possible employment contract for the water department general manager.

Oskaloosa Water Board met Tuesday morning to discuss and consider a possible employment contract for the water department general manager.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – The Oskaloosa Water Board got to business early Tuesday morning considering a contract for the departments general manager Chad Coon.

Coon has not had a contract, so the Oskaloosa Water Board took up the discussion and consideration “of possible employment contract for general manager,” the sole item on a special meeting, which took place at 8am Tuesday.

Chairperson Pete Settimi called the meeting to order, with board member Joe Ryan attending the meeting via phone. Also on the conference call was Errin Keltner and legal council Richard Malm. Keltner did not vote nor participate in the discussion that followed because his surety bond had not yet been posted in his stay of removal.

“I understand the purpose of this employment agreement, and I’m all for it,” said Ryan. “But one of the questions I have, as I look at this employment agreement, it’s very one sided.”

Ryan raised concern that the agreement contained no provisions for termination, other than if there was an illegal act by the general manager. He wanted to see the agreement expanded to cover other termination provisions related to performance. Those stipulations will have to be negotiated with Coon, something the board hopes to have hammered out this week.

The current voting members of the board agreed to have Settimi work as a negotiator with Coon this week to come up with provisions to be recommended to the board. “I think, as far as timing, this is something we probably want to get tackled this week,” said Settimi.

Coon agreed saying, “If we can agree in principle to it,” the board would then have legal council draft the agreement. “If we can agree to the principles of this, and move forward that would be great.”

According to Coon, the principle of the contract wouldn’t change anything he’s doing on a daily basis now, “it doesn’t change any of my benefits with the exception of locking me into a contract with a severance package if they choose to cut ties with me at some point.”

The baord is looking to add stipulations to the contract that will allow termination “for cause.”

“It will be a lot like the city managers contract, in fact, pretty much identical,” said Water Chairperson Pete Settimi. “It’s just a way, in light of everything that’s going on to make sure we don’t lose Chad. Chad’s doing a really good job, and there’s not too many Chad’s out there.”

“We’ve never had one, but in light of different stuff, we think it’s probably a good idea,” said Coon.

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