Local News

AP council extends Deleon's contract

AVON PARK - With seven months remaining on City Manager Julian Deleon's three-year contract, the city council approved extending his agreement with the city until Aug. 31, 2019.

At it's meeting on Monday, council approved the contract amendment with a 4-1 vote with Garrett Anderson casting the "no" vote.

By Deleon's request, the contract includes a provision for the city to provide legal defense for him in the event a civil or administrative legal action is brought against him related to his actions or omissions as city manager.

On the council agenda, Deleon stated his salary level does not cover the defense costs associated with the complaints filed as part of his job duties.

"For example, the defense costs associated with an ethics complaint are currently at more than $12,000," he said.

Despite the financial threats from the complaints filed against him, Deleon said, he has continued to perform his job "regardless of personal consequences."

Councilman Parke Sutherland said council should consider increasing Deleon's salary.

Deleon's annual salary is $93,000 and he recently received a 92.75 percent positive evaluation from the council, Sutherland noted.

Comparing the top tier administrative salaries at the county and the City of Sebring, Deleon handles more responsibilities than any one of those individuals, he said.

"In my personal opinion, Julian is low in the scale of compensation and I think it is in the city's best interest to keep him here for as long as we can," Sutherland said. "I am in support of considering increasing his pay commensurate with the services he has been providing to the city."

Council agreed to put the city manger's salary issue on the next meeting's agenda, which is March 10.