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Billings council to vote on contract for new city admin

Posted at 7:20 PM, Oct 19, 2018
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:51:22-04

BILLINGS- The Billings City Council will vote Monday night on a new two-year contract for its top pick for city administrator, Chris Kukulski.

The contract would pay a base salary of $179,000 annually, with the option of a pay raise of up to 5 percent in six months. The deal also includes health, disability and life insurance beneifts and a $6,000 annual stipend for a vehicle.

“It’s been a very smooth process. We did a lot of research beforehand on what other cities are paying of comparable size, and that was very helpful,” Mayor Bill Cole said. “Then, we put together a draft contract and had communication with Chris and he sent a document back and made some compromises. That’s why I think it’s a fair document now.”

KuKulski, a former city administrator in Bozeman and Kalispell, emerged as the consensus pick for the city’s top job last week.

A draft of his contract proposal was a part of the Friday packet sent to city council members in advance of Monday’s meeting.

Bruce McCandless, the longtime assistant city administrator, has been the acting city administrator for nearly a year now since Tina Volek’s retirement late last year.

The Council thought it had found her replacement when Great Falls City Administrator Greg Doyon was offered the job last December. Doyon and the city could not reach agreement on compensation, and he withdrew his name. The entire process went back to square one.

After a new candidate search and subsequent interviews, Kukulski was selected over three other candidates.

KuKulski has led municipal governments in Kalispell and Bozeman and is currently vice president for business  development at tech firm Zoot Enterprises in Bozeman.