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Scottsbluff city manager salary set at $117,875, with 2.75% pay raise

April 19, 2019

SCOTTSBLUFF — The Scottsbluff City Council discussed City Manager Nathan Johnson’s goals over the next year as well as discussed and approved an increase in salary on Monday as the city begins to look toward its upcoming budget workshop and the plans that will be implemented to improve the city over the next year.

Johnson wants to strengthen relations with city council members and continue educating all council members on any matters that would benefit them. His biggest, current goal is maintaining a balanced budget. This year’s council had three new members who are navigating their way through the many responsibilities of council members.

“I want it to be open and continuous within staff and out to constituents,” Johnson said.

Johnson plans to pursue funding mechanisms for projects in the city, including public-private funding.

“You see that with the 23 Club willing to go out and raise half of what is needed to build the 23 Club,” Johnson said.

Johnson is also looking at TIF projects and annexation to grow the city.

“We need to capitalize on that to lure more businesses here, not only new, but to give those that are here an opportunity to expand,” Johnson said. “Not only do you need assets like the 23 Club, but you need jobs to get people here and stay here.”

There are several projects currently in various stages of completion that Johnson would like to see finished.

“We have the downtown plaza and East Overland (Revitalization Plan) that are outstanding,” Johnson said. “They need to be completed.”

One initiative Johnson would like to work on is becoming the employer of choice. The city has a low turnover rate and a lot of things going on in the city that go unnoticed, Johnson said.

“We have a lot of great people in this organization,” Johnson said. “We just need to make everyone aware of what they’re doing.”

Johnson plans to obtain his International City/County Management Association Credentialed Manager designation in April 2020. The designation will put him in the top tier of city managers in the nation and provides him with the skills to continually develop in his career and manage the city more effectively. Johnson will become the Nebraska City/County Management Association (NCMA) President beginning in September 2019.

Councilman Terry Schaub said he thought Johnson’s goals looked reasonable. Mayor Ray Gonzales said the set of goals were excellent.

“When you are successful in your goals, it’s a reflection on us, too, as to why they are or are not being achieved,” Gonzales said.

City council also discussed the potential of up to a 5 percent raise for Johnson.

“I feel like with the performance and achievement of last year’s goal, there should be some form of wage adjustment,” Gonzales said. “Nathan is 24/7. It’s not an eight to five job.”

Schaub said Johnson does a lot of good for the community and when looking at similar salaries in other cities. Johnson’s pay is still in the bottom tier of comparable cities to Scottsbluff, Gonzales said.

“For those who completed evaluations, we could go to 5 percent because he received high marks,” Gonzales said. “I was thinking maybe 2.5 percent.”

With the 2.5 percent increase, Johnson’s salary will be $117,875.