Lanning decision approaching

City Council to discuss severance agreement of city manager tonight


Past Event

Meeting of the Steamboat Springs City Council

  • Tuesday, July 15, 2008, 5 p.m.
  • Centennial Hall, 124 10th St., Steamboat Springs
  • All ages / Free


— The Steamboat Springs City Council will vote tonight on a resolution for a severance agreement pertaining to City Manager Alan Lanning's contract, city officials said Monday.

"We are working on a severance agreement with Alan and the city," City Attorney Tony Lettunich said. He said a severance agreement doesn't mean Lanning will be fired. He declined to further discuss the subject.

City Council President Loui Antonucci said Lanning is still the city manager and has not resigned.

Lanning did not work Monday and did not return a message left on his cell phone.

The severance agreement agenda item for tonight's City Council meeting comes two weeks after an annual evaluation of Lanning by the council resulted in low performance scores and concerns from some council members about Lanning's interaction with the community. City Council held an executive session July 8 to discuss Lanning's future as city manager.

Tonight will be the first public discussion of Lanning's performance, and the outcome remains unclear. Lanning's contract, which went into effect July 3, 2006, outlines the details for resignation or termination.

If Lanning is fired by the city "without cause and for the convenience of the City," he would be owed a lump sum "equal to five months gross salary, less deductions," according to the contract.

Lanning's current salary is $127,200. He was not given a raise after his evaluation two weeks ago, City Clerk Julie Jordan said. In the termination without cause scenario, Lanning would receive a severance payment of $53,000, less deductions.

If Lanning is terminated by the city "for good cause shown after notice, hearing and opportunity for Mr. Lanning to be heard, then in that event the City shall have no obligation to pay the aggregate severance sum," according to the contract.

If Lanning "voluntarily resigns" as city manager, his contract says he is required to give six weeks of notice and "termination and severance pay shall be provided at the sole discretion of the City."

Per the contract, "Given the difficulty in finding suitable and affordable housing," Lanning was eligible to receive an interest-free loan from the city equal to 20 percent of the purchase price of a residence in Steamboat when he relocated from South Dakota. Jordan said Lanning received the loan when he purchased his home in June 2006. The Lannings paid $665,000 for the residence, according to records from the Routt County Assessor's Office.

To receive this loan, he and his wife were required to sign a promissory note at closing. If Lanning resigns or is terminated, he is required to pay back the full amount of the loan - $133,000 - plus 20 percent of the appraised property appreciation within six months of the day he is terminated or resigns.

If Lanning is fired or resigns as city manager, Jordan said the process to find a permanent replacement typically takes six to eight months. She said the city previously has hired an executive search firm to help find qualified candidates for the position.

- To reach Kristi Mohrbacher, call 871-4243 or e-mail


Tom Whiddon 8 years, 9 months ago

I think it is about time Steamboat Springs elects a mayor. A city manager trying to please 7 bosses is impossible. A mayor could stay focused on a vision for the city without being afraid he would be fired. Citizens could recall a mayor just like counsel.


factsfirst 8 years, 9 months ago

A mayor, instead of trying to satisfy 7 "bosses" would be trying to satisfy 10,000 "bosses" who all have different opinions. Rather than being focused on running the city, he/she would be focused on keeping his job, i.e. re-election. IMO, the council-manager system is still right for Steamboat.


424now 8 years, 9 months ago

Well now theres room for debate on that point. Run a four year term and you could get hmm, maybe two good years of work out of a mayor.

Might actually get the council out of the hands on management part of the job though.


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