Amherst Town Manager Paul Bockelman gets positive review, pay increase

  • Amherst Town Manager Paul Bockelman FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 9/1/2020 6:56:58 PM

AMHERST — Town Manager Paul Bockelman’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and a good performance review is leading to a revised contract that will boost his pay to more than $180,000.

At an executive session Monday, the council agreed to give Bockelman a 2% cost-of-living adjustment that will bring his annual salary to $183,021, up from $179,432 this year.

Due to the pandemic, though, and the fiscal uncertainties caused by it, Bockelman will not get a performance-based salary increase, even though he would have been eligible for one. The past two years he received a 5% total salary increase.

Council President Lynn Griesemer said in a statement that Bockelman has taken a strong and innovative approach to running town government.

“When confronted with the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, he and his team provided superb leadership and management,” Griesemer said. “While we continue to face many challenges in the coming year, we also look forward to working with Paul to ensure a sound future for the town.”

In the fourth review of Bockelman since his hire in 2016, he earned strong ratings for fiscal management, personnel management, community and intergovernmental relations, economic development and relationship with the Town Council. Climate action and long-term planning were the only goals where he received satisfactory marks, though councilors noted that progress on these was inhibited due to the pandemic.

The revised contract, which extends through August 2023, still awaits formal ratification and signing, which is expected to occur during the next regular meeting of the Town Council on Sept. 14.

Bockelman said in a statement that the past year has been a challenge for all municipal employees.

“I commend our talented team, especially our department leaders, who have stepped up and gone above and beyond the global pandemic,” Bockelman said. “We all have a strong commitment to the future of the town of Amherst.

The performance evaluation documents, including the Town Council members’ individual forms in which they rate and commented on Bockelman’s work, can be viewed at www.amherstma.gov/tmeval.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.

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