The Longboat Key Town Commission approved a $268,364.81 severance package for Bruce St. Denis when he resigned from his position as town manager in September. But that didn’t include a $10,161 401k match that St. Denis also received.
The transfer came up at a Nov. 17 commission regular workshop discussion of a resolution to amend the 2010-11 fiscal year budget by transferring a total of $349,276 in available unencumbered funds in various general fund line item accounts to general-fund line item accounts where expenditures exceeded the adopted budget.
Toward the end of the discussion of surpluses and shortfalls, Commissioner Lynn Larson asked about a $10,161 line item explained as “Part of TM Severance not figured into transfer Ordinance.”
“Please tell me that we didn’t pay a 401k investment on that payout he received,” Larson said.
“I wish I could,” said Tom Kelly, town finance director. “We didn’t see a way around paying that. It’s in the PRRs (personnel rules and regulations), basically that if someone puts that in, we have to match that to a certain degree. We didn’t know what he was going to put in.”
Larson said that the commission approved St. Denis’ severance package but didn’t approve the additional $10,161 and asked how the amount could be paid without commission approval. Kelly agreed to research the issue.
Later that afternoon, the commission came back to the discussion during a special meeting. Kelly told the commission that he had spoken briefly about the issue with town attorney David Persson briefly over the phone that afternoon. He said that further research was needed to determine the timing of when the severance package was approved and when the 401k request was made.
Commissioner Phill Younger also questioned the payout.
“Once the severance agreement was signed then the fund is no longer available,” he said.
Larson suggested a motion to postpone the transfer of $10,161.
“The money’s been paid,” Kelly said. “It’s a matter of moving the money around to cover that expenditure.”
Persson, who was at the meeting but not the workshop held earlier that afternoon, said that he was just learning about the issue and would consult with the town’s labor attorney, H. Reynolds Allen and Kelly to determine whether the transfer was problematic.
Larson later agreed to withdraw the motion, and the commission approved the amendment to the 2010-11 fiscal year budget.
For more information, pick up a Nov. 24 copy of the Longboat Observer.
Contact Robin Hartill at email@example.com.
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