Praised by the Hays City Commissioners for a job well done, Hays City Manager Toby Dougherty was granted a 3 percent pay increase last week.

Hays City Commissioners at their regularly scheduled meeting Thursday unanimously voted for the  increase, which is retroactive to Dec. 16, 2018, and begins with the first pay period in January.

The pay raise bumps Dougherty’s annual salary to $128,508 from $124,765.

“Toby has a unique talent. Not every manager is going to appeal to everyone,” said Mayor Henry Schwaller IV. “But to do the job well, and you don’t see that often, you have to have a good eye on finances and keeping the city financially sound, you have to conceptually see where the city is going and what it will need in three to five years, and you have to have good people skills. Again, some may debate where his skills lie, but I feel that he’s good in all three. And I appreciate his leadership and the fact that he empowers people who work for him to make decisions as well. That is the mark of an excellent leader.”

Keeping in line with the city’s switch to a new pay plan this year, Dougherty moved to the “Blue” plan, which allotted other city employees 4 percent raises for 2019 in exchange for giving up 40 hours of paid time off, which Dougherty did.

In 2018, under the city’s old pay plan, Dougherty earned paid time off at the rate of 8.6 hours every two weeks. Consistent with the Blue Plan, he now accrues 7 hours every two weeks.

According to previous comments by Human Resources Director Erin Giebler, Dougherty’s pay increases according to his contract with the City Commission. Dougherty’s contract is indefinite, renewed at the commission’s discretion year-to-year, with annual performance reviews.

Schwaller said Dougherty’s annual evaluation means each commissioner filled out a performance evaluation independently, noting areas where Dougherty is doing well and areas needing improvement.

He has been a city employee for 14 years as of March, first hired as assistant city manager and a few years later as city manager.

City Commissioner Sandy Jacobs also commented on Dougherty’s performance.

“I have been commissioner now for over two years,” Jacobs said. “To say he does a wonderful job is an understatement, but to recognize the wonderful job he does is to recognize the department heads that he has. He allows them to work very independently, they do their job very well, he supports everything they do, and that kind of leadership is very important in our community, and I appreciate you Toby.”

City Commissioner Ron Mellick also thanked Dougherty, as did Commissioner Shaun Musil.

“I appreciate the times when you ask tough questions,” Musil said. “And sometimes you push back, but usually it’s because you have the information, and we don’t, but you give us the information for us to review. I’d like to note you and your staff make our job as commissioner much simpler, and I appreciate what you do for the community.”