Scott Spence, who has been Lacey’s city manager since 2011, didn’t get a raise in his most recent performance evaluation, but the City Council did adjust his health care plan.
Lacey’s council approved his contract last week, after two executive-session discussions about his contract and review earlier in the year. Spence will continue to earn $149,940. He was hired at $140,000 in 2011 and later received a raise that bumped his salary to $142,800. The last increase was in early 2015.
Although he didn’t get a raise, the council adjusted his health care plan so that it was in line with other city employees who are not represented by a union.
They have a health reimbursement arrangement, similar to a health savings account, in which money is deposited into an account to use toward health care expenses. HSAs typically have higher deductibles, which means those who use them can pay more in out-of-pocket expenses. They can tap the account to cover those expenses.
Higher deductibles mean lower premiums, which is saving the city some money, said Finance Director Troy Woo. The switch to the health reimbursement arrangement is expected to save the city six figures annually on its health care expenses, he said.
Spence will receive a one-time contribution of $2,250, followed by $15 a month thereafter. One-hundred percent of his medical and dental insurance premiums are covered by the city, as well as 90 percent of such premiums for his family, according to the contract. The full premiums for long-term disability insurance and term life insurance also are covered by the city.
Council members praised Spence and the work he has done for the city.
Virgil Clarkson, one of the longest-serving council members in the city’s history, said that when Spence was hired in 1999, he “saw the future in him.”
“We’re to the point where it’s Greg who?” said Clarkson about former longtime city manager Greg Cuoio, who held the job for 24 years.
“He’s just doing an outstanding job in my opinion,” Clarkson said about Spence.
Lenny Greenstein, too, said Spence took over from someone who had been there a long time and had developed an incredible reputation.
“He filled those shoes really well,” Greenstein said of Spence. “He’s on point and keeps on top of everything.”
The city has a lot on its plate, Greenstein said, so Spence is guiding the Lacey Gateway project in Hawks Prairie, the Woodland District strategic plan, a funding mechanism for the Transportation Benefit District, and the future septic-to-sewer conversion.
Before becoming city manager, Spence was assistant city manager, after being hired in 1999 to be the director of public affairs. Before Lacey, Spence was an assistant city manager in Sherwood, Oregon.