Town Manager severance settled

No joint statement
Thu, 04/06/2017 - 10:45pm

Nearly two months after former Town Manager Jim Lathrop resigned from office, his severance package with the town has finally been settled. Lathrop resigned from the position on Feb. 10 after spending only three months on the job. Five days later, the New Shoreham Town Council appointed former Town Manager Assistant Shirlyne Gobern, as its interim town manager for a period of up to six months.

First Warden Ken Lacoste told The Block Island Times that Lathrop’s “severance was $21,250, which was calculated based upon three months salary, minus Lathrop’s reimbursement to the town of $5,000 with respect to tuition paid by the town on his behalf.” 

Lathrop, who had been signed to a five-year contract beginning with a $106,000 salary, had been attending a weekly public administration program at New York University as part of his original agreement with the town.

Lathrop explained to The Times that he “was paid three months salary totaling $26,250. The town had advanced, loaned to me $7,500, for education (tuition). They forgave $2,500 and I repaid $5,000. This is how you get the $21,250.” He said the town is also “providing one year of healthcare,” and noted that the value is about $20,000. 

Lacoste noted that Lathrop would receive “COBRA medical benefits under the town’s group health insurance plan for a period of one year, unless (Lathrop), or his spouse, has health insurance available to either of them through their employment.” 

As for issuance of a joint statement, Lacoste said, “Since both sides seem to have made comments already I do not anticipate that we will be issuing any further statements.”

Lathrop said that he “would like to let the citizens that have reached out to me this last month know how much I appreciate their support and concern.”

The Town Council, along with two subcommittees, has embarked on the search for a new town manager. The goal of the two subcommittees is to conduct a first round of interviews in June with the hopes that the Town Council can hire someone for the position by Labor Day.