Sunset Hills resident displeased with contract for city administrator

To the editor:

It appears that the hiring of Sunset Hills’ new administrator was completed without informing the voters of any of the perks Eric Sterman would receive.

A recent edition of the Call has informed residents of the package deal for Mr. Sterman. As a Sunset Hills taxpayer, I think all the benefits given to Mr. Sterman are over the top, uncalled for, and should be completely outlined and explained to residents.

First of all, Mr. Sterman starts with 10 days of vacation. I assume his vacation starts without working one day for the city.

This “free” vacation sounds like a European practice. Why did his “employment” start with vacation? I don’t understand this.

Mr. Sterman’s next benefit is that he will be recognized as having five years of service for the purpose of accruing benefits. Why should he receive five years of service, again without working one day for the city? And what does this mean, “for the purpose of accruing benefits”? Why would his benefits not start at the beginning of year one? Does he need to accrue benefits? How much does this cost taxpayers?

Regarding the $300 vehicle allowance, is Sunset Hills supplying a vehicle in addition to the allowance? The taxpayers should know what this “allowance” covers — what does it mean? Another perk is a six-month severance payment. How can the city guarantee a six-month severance payment? How much is that payment?

Finally, the last benefit is insurance. Once again, taxpayers have a right to know what insurance will Mr. Sterman be receiving — life, health, dental? And who is covered under the insurance — just Mr. Sterman or his entire family? There is so much in the article about the package deal for the administrator that is not reported.

Residents deserve a breakdown of these benefits and an explanation why they were in the contract. Sunset Hills taxes are high.

Because of this contract, a $90,000 salary for Mr. Sterman and a $65,000 salary for a newly created role of an accounting manager, residents can expect our taxes to continue to rise. One resident I spoke to said he was so angry when reading this article, he had to stop reading. I think many citizens feel this way.

One note I need to add. I don’t think it was necessary to bash former Mayor Mark Furrer, stating he created turmoil during his time as mayor and that there was an effort to impeach him.

Why bring this up? It is over. We are moving on, right?

Ann Ludlow

Sunset Hills