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Commission OKs 4 percent raise for Municipal Utilities general manager

WILLMAR — The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission on Monday approved a 4 percent, $5,000 pay increase for General Manager Wesley Hompe.

The increase from $121,540 to $126,540 was recommended by the commission’s Labor Committee after committee Chair Matt Schrupp and member Joe Gimse conducted Hompe’s annual performance review Auguar 19 prior to the actual September anniversary date in Hompe’s contract.

Hompe, formerly staff electrical engineer, has served as general manager since September 2012.

Schrupp said the committee received feedback from other commissioners. The committee went through various areas and he said overall the performance evaluation was very good.

“I think we all agree that the direction and vision and overall job that Wes is doing is meeting the job description and filling the needs,’’ Schrupp said. “Overall, very good rating.’’

He said the committee allowed Hompe to add any comments to the evaluation, which was forwarded to Commission President Steve Salzer for his comments. Schrupp said he, Salzer and Hompe will soon sign the evaluation.

Salzer said his comments were very positive.

“I’ve really been happy with how he’s been performing. I think he has the respect of his staff and co-workers. I think Wes is always thinking out into the future for keeping us viable and sustainable,’’ Salzer said. “Nowadays that’s pretty hard to do. You really need to struggle and work hard at that.’’

Schrupp said no formal action was needed on the evaluation, other than to approve the committee minutes, which noted that the review had been conducted.

Following that action, the commission approved the pay increase.

Gimse said nothing else is changed.

“That was the only adjustment that’s going to be made,’’ said Gimse in offering a resolution, seconded by Schrupp to approve the increase.

Commissioner Dan Holtz asked how the 4 percent increase was determined. Schrupp explained Hompe’s performance was above expectation in most categories.

Schrupp added that the previous general manager’s salary was at a higher rate than the current salary and the committee was trying to get some parity in the process.

Commissioner Jeff Nagel asked how Willmar compares with similar communities.

Gimse said responsibilities range widely among general managers. He said responsibility for district heating and electric generation played into the committee’s thought process.

He said general managers in cities where the scope of responsibility is similar to Willmar’s are compensated a little higher than what Willmar is paying.

Schrupp said salaries range widely.

“But we’re still on the low side of general managers of municipal utilities of similar size,’’ he said.

City Councilman Bruce DeBlieck, liaison to the Municipal Utilities Commission, asked if Schrupp had spoken about the pay increase to Councilman Steve Ahmann, chairman of the council’s Labor Committee, or City Administrator Charlene Stevens. Schrupp said he had not.

DeBlieck said generally all labor salaries and compensation have been reviewed by the council’s Labor Committee. DeBlieck said he would discuss it with Stevens.

DeBlieck did not recommend a delay in commission action on the pay raise, but he recommended Schrupp be present at the council meeting Sept. 2 to answer any questions.

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150