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April 18, 2014

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No buyout, but Henderson city manager to retire with $251,000 severance package

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Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Sun

Henderson City Manager Mark Calhoun sits in his office at City Hall as he discusses the challenges facing the city.

Henderson City Manager Mark Calhoun says he won’t participate in the city’s Voluntary Employee Buyout Program when he retires in May.

But that doesn’t mean Calhoun, who has spent 29 years working for the city, will leave empty-handed.

He'll still receive roughly $251,000 in severance at his retirement, said Fred Horvath, the city’s human resources director.

That’s because in 2009, when Calhoun was promoted from assistant city manager, his new contract included a retention clause that spelled out a severance package upon his departure.

“As assistant city manager, in lieu of taking the (buyout), there was a retention arrangement (for him) to stay and be city manager,” Horvath said.

The arrangement entitles Calhoun to be paid accumulated sick leave and vacation time, as well as a package similar to the buyout program offered to city employees in 2009, Horvath said.

Calhoun took over after council members fired former City Manager Mary Kay Peck for not fully disclosing the city's financial status to them. Peck later sued the city for violating her due process rights and received almost $1.3 million in a settlement last year.

Calhoun earns $225,000 annually.

A city spokesman said the council would soon discuss how to fill the city manager's position. Options could include hiring an internal candidate or conducting a local or national search. The new city manager will be responsible for hiring a new police chief.

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  1. How do I apply for this job?