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Friedel signs contract extension

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City Administrator

Former Alderman Tom Friedel listens as Mayor John Dickert talks about him on June 25, 2009, during a news conference announcing that Friedel was Dickert's choice to be the city administrator. Friedel's salary has become a point of recent public debate.

RACINE — City Administrator Tom Friedel has signed a two-year extension to his contract.

Friedel, who has served as the city’s top administrator since 2009, signed the extension on Wednesday, Deputy City Attorney Scott Letteney said in an email Friday.

Calls made to Friedel were not returned.

News of the contract signing comes more than three weeks after the City Council voted to extend his current employment agreement with the city.

Under the terms of the contract extension, approved by aldermen on June 16, Friedel will receive a $10,000 increase to his current salary of $99,237 over two years — a $5,000 bump this year, followed by a $5,000 bump next year.

Friedel’s six-year contract would have expired Sunday had he not signed the extension.

The relative silence that has fallen upon the contract issue in recent weeks comes after close to a month of contentious debate among aldermen about the city administrator position and its salary.

With the expiration of Friedel’s current contract fast approaching, Mayor John Dickert and Letteney approached the Finance and Personnel Committee on May 26 requesting that Friedel’s contract be extended by two years and his salary increased by 31 percent.

Under Dickert and Letteney’s proposal, Friedel’s salary would have climbed to $115,000 on July 13, and then to $130,000 one year later. The men said such an increase was necessary if the city wanted to put compensation for the position in line with what city administrators in similar communities are paid.

In a letter Friedel sent to aldermen in early June, he wrote that while he “never made any demands for a specific salary,” he did ask to receive a pay increase that would put his “salary at a level more consistent” with his predecessors and “peers in the region.”

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