Potential Alachua County Manager James Bourey has one week to answer the Alachua County Commission.
By next week, Bourey has to either accept the new proposal or make another counteroffer. The Alachua County Commission voted on Bourey’s first response by increasing the salary from $160,000 to $165,000.
They made other small changes, such as striking out short and long-term disability and reducing the amount of round-trip airplane tickets from eight to four.
Commissioner Susan Baird considered the negotiation similar to any other.
“Whether it be hiring somebody or buying a car or buying a house, you start at the lower amount,” she said. “You can always go up, but you can’t go down (in your offer).”
During Tuesday’s meeting, commissioner Charles Chestnut made a motion to terminate the proposed contract with Bourey and move to the next candidate, Stockton Whitten.
The motion was denied 3-2, even after multiple audience members supported the idea.
There was tension in the room when commissioner Lee Pinkoson gave his opinion on Bourey’s counteroffer.
“Quite honestly, I was a little bit taken aback by the contract,” Pinkoson said, referring to Bourey’s request for more money, “simply because from a leadership perspective, it’s my hope that we get somebody that is going to set the tone for the county.”
Commission Chair Mike Byerly was unhappy with the way Pinkoson handled the discussions.
“I don’t want to get into a position of questioning someone’s character or personality,” he told Pinkoson, “because they are following our process and asking to be paid what they think they can be paid.”
Alachua County Public Information Officer Mark Sexton said the commission will most likely not revisit the situation again until they hear from Bourey.