Ford hired as Alva city business manager
February 24, 2023
Alva has been without a city business manager for about eight months since Angelica Brady resigned effective June 1, 2022. After searches, interviews and contract talks, Monday night the Alva City Council voted to hire Stephen K. Ford for that position. It wasn't unanimous. Troy Brooks and Taylor Dowling voted no but, as both explained, they were voting against the scope of the employment contract and not Ford himself.
"I like the candidate," said Brooks, "But I don't like the contract." He said he was satisfied that Ford had the right qualifications for the job.
"We're giving you a better contract than I've seen anybody get," Dowling said to Ford. But he, too, said he liked Ford for the position.
Mayor Kelly Parker said for the remainder of this fiscal year (through June 30), Ford's pay will not exceed $50,000. In subsequent full years, his pay will be up to $123,006.43. However, his contract does allow for negotiated increases at the conclusion of FY2024. The contract expires June 30, 2027.
According to the employment contract, Ford will be paid $111,000 per year along with the benefits all city employees receive and some other considerations. Those will include a vehicle allowance of $500 per month to be used to purchase, lease or own as well as operate and maintain a vehicle. Ford will be responsible for paying for insurance coverage and maintenance of his vehicle. When traveling beyond a 300-mile round-trip radius to or from Alva, he will be reimbursed at the IRS standard mileage rate.
In addition, Ford will be provided with a computer, software and fax-modem so he can maintain communication from home and work remotely when necessary. The city will pay for Ford's internet and use of his personal cellphone for business purposes at a rate of $200 per month.
The contract states, "It is recognized that the Employee must devote a great deal of time outside the normal office hours on business for the Employer, and to that end Employee shall be allowed to establish an appropriate work schedule, with approval of Employer."
According to the contract, Ford agrees to maintain a residence within 20 miles of the city limits or within the Alva school district during the term of his employment. Residence is defined as a permanent domicile where the employee resides on a permanent basis.
The 10-page contract includes a page listing the ICMA (International City/County Management Association) Code of Ethics which Ford is expected to uphold. The final page is a list of Key Performance Indicators with three divisions: General Fund cash balance, Stabilization Reserve Fund per Ordinance No. 2015-050 and Capital Reserve Fund per Ordinance No. 2017-003. Ford's job performance will be reviewed at least once per year by the city council.
Ford and his family live outside of Alva with a rural address through the Waynoka post office. His wife Tiffani is currently employed in Alva. The exact date Ford will begin his duties as city business manager has not been determined as he needs to close out some prior commitments.