Dayton City Administrator’s contract to expire Sept. 19

Council, Orduno must negotiate agreeable new terms if she is to stay past deadline

Currently employed under a contract, Dayton City Administrator Samantha Orduno has a clause in her contract that stipulates an annual auto-renewal triggered six months before the expiration.

With the contract expiration date of Sept. 19, 2013, the six-month window closes March 19. The council approved not allowing for auto-renewal of Orduno’s contract.

“This doesn’t mean Sam [Orduno] is no longer with us,” said Mayor Tim McNeil. “It means she will become an at-will employee…”

“Or not,” said Orduno suggesting there are numerous options, such as the council could renegotiate a new contract, offer her at-will employee status or she could choose to leave.

In essence, with the auto-renewal out of play, the council will now have to work on negotiating a new contract with Orduno before Sept. 19 arrives.

McNeil said the decision not to renew Orduno’s contract was not based on her performance, which he deemed excellent, rather it has to do with allowing the city more flexibility.

“This provides the opportunity to talk about her career, what it takes to keep her and how that fits in with the 2014 budget,” said McNeil. “Sam has done a fantastic job. This is not a reflection on her.”

Orduno said that her terms of employment will change with this decision.

“I do not have the same protections and I will have other protections, that is a definite change of employment,” she said.

Orduno’s contract became an issue of contention for some when the vacation and sick time accrual was discussed and verified at a Dec. 31 special meeting. Serving in the capacity of a council member at that time, McNeil was not in favor of the motion made clarifying the administrator’s vacation and sick time accrual isn’t subject to the same cap put in place in 2012 for at-will employees. Additionally, residents have spoken at open forum in regards to the issue.

Without a contract in place, as an at-will employee, Orduno would be subject to the same vacation and sick time accrual caps as other at-will employees. However, it has yet to be determined what the future holds in regards to employment terms for Orduno after the Sept. 19 deadline. That is something the council will have to address over the next six months.

“There will have to be agreed upon terms for Sam [Orduno] to stay,” said City Attorney George Hoff.


Contact Mindy Mateuszczyk at [email protected]