Drake starts PERS benefits but keeps Cornelius job
Under a new contract approved by the Cornelius City Council on Monday night, City Manager Rob Drake will begin drawing on his Oregon Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) benefits, but retain his job as city manager, a position he has held for the last five years.
In order to take the benefits he's earned over 22 years of public service, his current contract had to be terminated and a new one drawn up, said the 68-year-old Drake, who served as mayor of Beaverton before coming to Cornelius in February 2012.
"I really like working in the community and meeting its residents and business owners. I just wasn't ready to quit ... serving this community," he said. "There are some things I want to get done, like seeing the new library project completed and improving the city's water supply."
Because Drake is eligible for Social Security, PERS allows him to work full-time hours.
The new contract, effective June 2, was unanimously approved after the council came out of a brief executive session. The only change was to extend its termination date from Feb. 10, 2018, to June 30, 2019.
"We're fortunate to have had Rob as our city manager," said Mayor Jef Dalin. "He's done a great job and his mark on the community is a good one."
Council President Dave Schamp suggested that some residents might have a concern about the practice of "double dipping." But taxpayers will actually save money with Drake taking his benefits now since the amount will be capped and can't increase. Schamp added that he was pleased Drake had decided to continue with the city and thanked him for his service.
Under terms of the new contract, Drake will continue to devote his fulltime work to the position and not engage in any activity that would interfere with city duties. He will retain his current annual salary of $137,568, the amount approved by the city council in February. And, he'll continue to receive the same vacation and sick leave benefits, along with health/disability insurance.
The employment package also includes $400 a month toward operating costs for Drake's personal vehicle. The agreement states that city will budget and pay for dues and subscriptions in national, regional, state and local professional organizations that will help improve his performance as city manager. It also allows for reinbusement for travel and subsistence expenses to attend meetings and other official events.
Drake said he appreciated the council's support and enjoys serving its members.