The New Smyrna City Commission discussed the terms of the contract with the new interim city manager May 28.

Khalid Resheidat, who served as the city’s assistant city manager for the last 10 years, was appointed interim city manager May 14 after the resignation of Pam Brangaccio.

The commission directed the city attorney to draft a contract that would increase Mr. Resheidat’s salary to match what Ms. Brangaccio was earning at the time of her resignation as well as the car allowance she received. Because he is already employed by the city, Mr. Resheidat has all the other benefits the former city manager received under her contract.

The contract will call for Mr. Resheidat to serve in his interim capacity for a six-month period. At the end of that time, the city commission will decide whether to offer the city manager position to him or open it up for other candidates to apply.

The mayor and commissioners lauded Mr. Resheidat’s qualifications and emphasized his 30 years of service to the city and the valuable knowledge he brings to his new position.

Mayor Russ Owen summarized the discussion and emphasized his support that they were making the right decision.

“I have no concerns with this,” Mayor Owen said. “I’ll tell you that I compared what we were paying our city manager with what every other city manager in the county was being paid. I think we’re in line for a city of our complexity. Also, acknowledging that interim positions are hard. But Khalid knows this, having served as an interim before. It’s a tough road to navigate. You’re often not back-filling the position you are leaving, so you’re pulling double duty at least for a while.”

The commission unanimously approved the salary adjustment and car allowance be made retroactive to May 14 when he began serving in the interim city manager role.

The commission also directed the city attorney to include a provision in the contract that Mr. Resheidat can resume his role as assistant city manager if they decide not to hire him for the permanent city manager post.

During the discussion on the interim city manager contract, Vice Mayor Randy Hartman said that he would like to see a formal annual evaluation of the city manager be implemented once a permanent appointment is made. Commissioner Michael Kolody agreed and indicated he would like to see annual evaluations of the city manager, the city clerk and the city attorney.

Mayor Owen added his sentiments.

“I concur with my other commissioners,” he said. “I think how we do that evaluation is important. There is something to be said about positive organizational behavior and you know we can do things that can really be great and we can do things that can impact us negatively. So how we do that is important, but I’m certainly in support of it. I’ve got some ideas I’d like to talk through as we consider that. I also think it is important to give lots of feedback along the way and not just wait to discuss job performance once a year.”

The interim city manager contract is scheduled for a vote at the June commission meeting. The six-month period would commence once the contract is approved.

After the meeting, Mr. Resheidat said, “It’s an honor to serve in this capacity and I am looking forward to continue my public service for the City of New Smyrna Beach. I take this responsibility very seriously and I will do everything possible to protect the welfare of our citizens.”

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