Almost nine months after he was tapped by outgoing County Manager Jim Dinneen to move up to Volusia’s top administrative post, George Recktenwald has entered into an agreement to head up the large bureaucracy.
The County Council unanimously ratified the pact March 5.
“Thank you for your trust, and I will never let you down,” Recktenwald told the council, drawing a standing ovation from his supporters in the audience.
Formerly deputy county manager and also a former director of the departments of Road and Bridge and Public Protection, Recktenwald has worked for county government for more than 20 years.
The County Council had launched a national search for Dinneen’s successor, but last month picked Recktenwald.
That move came well after the County Council had accepted Dinneen’s resignation and agreed to let Recktenwald serve as interim county manager, with the understanding that Recktenwald would not apply for the position. However, Recktenwald ultimately won the confidence and support of the County Council.
His contract calls for him to receive an annual salary of $215,000, plus a county vehicle or a monthly car allowance of $500.
The county will pay into the Florida Retirement System for Recktenwald’s pension, and he will receive deferred compensation — sometimes called a golden parachute.
He will also be allowed to accrue personal leave, for which he may be paid upon leaving the manager’s post.
Other benefits are a $300,000 term life-insurance policy and a long-term disability policy, as well as the group medical insurance given to other county employees.
The County Council, according to the contract, will evaluate Recktenwald’s performance each year, and may increase his base salary at that time.
The agreement notes Recktenwald “serves at the pleasure of the County Council.”
“If the Employee is terminated without just cause, he also shall be entitled to twenty weeks severance pay and provided health insurance coverage during the twenty weeks following termination,” the contract also reads.
County Attorney Dan Eckert and County Chair Ed Kelley helped negotiate the contract.