Bauer, city part ways

The City of Bainbridge Island and City Manager Brenda Bauer are parting ways after 18 months.

In an addendum to Bauer's contract that will be considered at Wednesday's council meeting, the city effectively announces that it will be searching for a new city manager stating "the city and (Bauer), however, now desire to go in different directions."

"There is a substantially different City Council and they would like a manager of their choosing," Bauer said Monday morning. "I'm definitely looking for another leadership opportunity."

The change has been expected since the council began discussing her future during executive sessions since it first convened in the second week of January.

Bauer, whose base annual salary is $150,000, has the option to remain in her position during the period of transition and to help the city look for her replacement. In the amendment to Bauer's contract that the city likely will approve Wednesday, the city agrees to give her six months of severance pay, plus benefits.

The city also must give Bauer 90 days advanced written notice to terminate her employment and Bauer must give the city a 30-day written notice if she resigns. Whether Bauer resigns or the city terminates her, she will be entitled to 90 days worth of pay, which is approximately $37,500. Bauer's severance package totals approximately $112,500, before considering benefits.

Council Member Kirsten Hytopoulos said that until the council's meeting on Wednesday, the council's official position on the matter is not to comment.

Bauer was hired as interim city manager in June 2010, then was given permanent status by a 4-3 council vote in August 2011.

Of the current council members (four new members joined the council on Jan. 1, 2012), Debbi Lester was the only one to vote against giving Bauer a permanent status. While campaigning for council last year council members Sarah Blossom, Steve Bonkowski and David Ward all publicly voiced their disapproval of Bauer's job performance.



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