A finalist for the Maricopa city manager was awarded a three-year employment agreement Tuesday after city council voted to offer him the shorter-than-usual contract.
“[Maricopa] has a leakage of about $367 million where citizens are spending money in other communities, and my expertise is in how to reverse that.” — incoming City Manager Ricky Horst
Ricky Horst, the current city manager for Rocklin, California, will begin his contract in Maricopa on June 25 and receive $180,000 for the first year of the contract, paid in equal, bi-weekly installments. Each of the following two years he will have an opportunity to make even more, according to the stipulations of his contract.
“After the first year of this Agreement, the Employer may increase [Horst’s] salary as part of the City’s annual budget process [sic],” the contract states.
The three-year contract is shorter than usual for a reason, Mayor Christian Price said. It gives the city the option to revisit the contract in a few years to determine if things are working out, something which is harder to do with a five- or 10-year contract.
“I think everybody wants someone that is going to have buy-in,” Price said. “[But] there’s a flip side to that. What if you don’t like the individual? What if they’re not working out? What if things aren’t going so well?”
By keeping the contract shorter, Price said, it gives the city the ability to come back in a few years and assess the city manager’s performance.
In a phone interview Wednesday Horst said, he and his wife were elated to be coming to Maricopa, a city which dually shares his vision and could use his experience.
“[Maricopa] has a leakage of about $367 million where citizens are spending money in other communities, and my expertise is in how to reverse that,” Horst said. “So, then we can continue to provide for public safety, better infrastructure and quality of life amenities that will continue to make Maricopa the special place that it is.”
Horst went on to say Maricopa is offering him more than just a role in developing such a young city, and the city also fits the mold for a place he would like to call home.
“I’ve been at this for a while, and frankly I’ve had a lot of invites to go to a lot of cities to look at what they’re doing, but I have the right to be picky now,” Horst said Wednesday. “And I picked Maricopa both for career reasons and professional reasons, but also for personal reasons and quality-of-life reasons.”
A city Stakeholder Panel was convened to help in the city manager selection process. The nine-member group of residents, businesses owners and local organization leaders aided in the culling the original candidate selection down to two finalists – Horst and a former assistant to the Maricopa city manager, Nicole Lance.
The Stakeholder Panel consisted of Ioanna Morfessis, president and chief strategist of Io.Inc; AnnaMarie Knorr, Maricopa Unified School District Governing Board president; Dan Frank, president of Maricopa Flood Control District; Joe Hoover, owner of Legacy Montessori; John Stapleton, owner of CopaTV; Paul Shirk, president of Maricopa Historical Society; Linda Cheney, vice president of El Dorado Holdings; Glenda Kelly, board member of Maricopa Chamber of Commerce; and Mario Ortega, retired Maricopa Police officer.