Janesville72°

Council praises Levitt’s first year

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
December 16, 2009
— Despite a “super” review, Janesville City Manager Eric Levitt joins the ranks of city workers who will not get a raise next year.

Levitt, who has been manager for about a year, received his yearly evaluation from the council in closed session after Monday’s meeting.


Five council members were present. Frank Perrotto was absent, and Russ Steeber left before the meeting ended because he was ill.


Council President Bill Truman said Levitt was OK with the pay freeze, considering he recently asked city employees to forego raises.


Levitt began work last December at a salary of $136,000 and the promise of a merit raise increase of up to 4 percent after six months. In June, the council declined to give Levitt a raise because of the downturn in the economy.


“All the council members present were happy with the job Eric has been doing,” Truman said Tuesday.


Everyone was very pleased with the 2010 budget and how Levitt presented the budget, he said.


For the first time in memory, the city budget showed a decrease in the operating levy. Levitt was able to negotiate with the unions a delay in a scheduled 3 percent raise, something council members praised, Truman said.


“There was really no concerns,” Truman said. “Most of the council members think he is still more or less progressing from his six-month review and has stepped up a level.”


Members at that time had asked that Levitt become more involved in council meetings, Truman said.


Levitt has a laid-back style, and council members still are trying to get used to that because it is “totally opposite” from the prior administration, Truman said.


“But then … we thought the (prior) manager was too involved,” Truman said. “It’s a very fine line.”


Truman said Levitt continues to put his light on to speak at council meetings and waits to be called in order. Former Manager Steve Sheiffer just jumped in when he wanted to speak, and council members have invited Levitt to do that, as well, Truman said.


“But he (Levitt) uses the light like any other council member,” Truman said.


Levitt is becoming more involved with discussions, Truman said.


“Everybody has come to the conclusion, we know his different style of management compared to prior administrations.


“We think he has done a super job for what he has come into,” Truman said, noting that shortly after Levitt got here, the “bottom fell out” of the economy.


“I think he’s transitioned well to the city and the citizens of Janesville,” he said.



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