Pending Decision

Item 11 - Recognizing the Outstanding Service of City Manager Kathleen Hodgson

Resolution 2022-56 a Resolution Recognizing the Outstanding Service of City Manager Kathleen Hodgson and Authorizing a Performance Award in Acknowledgment Thereof


Staff Memo ( 0.02 MB )
Resolution 2022-56 ( 0.07 MB )
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Comments & Feedback

This case is closed, online commenting is no longer available.
Online comments closed at 12:00 PM MDT 8/8/22.
The City Manager salary and benefits in Lakewood are already exceedingly high for a non-full service city. Additionally, surveys have shown a steady decline in citizen satisfaction with Lakewood City Government performance for the past 10 years. The procedure to propose this Resolution with a dollar amount to be announced at the last minute is anything but transparent. Additionally, the City Manager and staff have done an unsatisfactory job of handling the CCU student housing issue for the past 5 years. Despite all the attention and communication regarding this zoning issue which resulted in CCU filing an unsuccessful lawsuit, we still have a Compliance staff with little or no understanding of the City Code that prohibits University/College uses in low density residential zoning. Perhaps any additional funds could be better spent on properly training a larger compliance staff. This Resolution should be voted down.
August 8, 2022, 9:49 AM
Robert Baker
9 / 11 Council Members have viewed this comment
This one single vote will tell your constituents whose interests you are looking out for. It is ill-advised to vote for a bonus for the City Manager when your constituents are suffering. We are suffering from inflation and from crime. I consider Nextdoor to be a continuous focus group of what is on people’s minds, and crime is by far the #1 concern. It never used to be. Someone will say “Report this crime to the Lakewood Police.” Another person will say “They won’t do anything about it.” Or “They don’t have the staff to handle it.” The term “LakeHOOD” inevitably comes up. People of all ages, ethnicities, socioeconomic status, political parties, etc. are being victimized by crime. We all feel vulnerable. Commercial areas such as Belmar and Denver West are becoming dangerous. These areas should be protected since they produce a lot of sales tax revenue for the City. If people stop shopping here and seek out safer locations, Lakewood will suffer economically. Lower-income residents and people on fixed incomes are especially harmed by crime. They have to replace whatever is stolen with items that now cost more due to inflation. I recall that Lakewood’s population skews older. Will paying a bonus of possibly tens of thousands of dollars make Lakewood better? NO. Will reallocating those funds for public safety be for the greater good? YES. I realize adding a staff position may not be as easy as it sounds since it’s a multi-year commitment. So perhaps the bonus funds could be diverted to offer incentives to join the Lakewood Police Dept. Or buy more equipment. Or software to increase efficiency. Etc. Consult with interim Chief Loar. If government budgeting is an obstacle, I bet the City Council could vote to move funds from one part of the budget to another. Bureaucracy should not be an excuse. I don’t know what incentives are in Ms. Hodgson’s contract, but if her contract doesn’t address mitigating crime, then it should be added. The optics are not good of voting for a bonus for someone who is already getting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars every year. Every available dollar should be routed toward public safety. The wise decision is to VOTE NO on a bonus for the City Manager.
August 8, 2022, 2:37 AM
Deborah Romero
9 / 11 Council Members have viewed this comment
The Resolution being proposed is based on outstanding performance by the City Manager which would justify giving her a bonus to a salary that is already higher by far than any other City employee. However, if you read the Lakewood Community Survey which was presented in April of this year and funded by the City ( page 29 specifically, you will see two charts. The first is overall Lakewood City Government Performance and the second is Overall Lakewood City Government Performance Compared by the last 12 years since our City Manager had held her position approval ratings have declined each year beginning in 2010 when the numbers peaked at 67% to 2022 when that number reached an all time low of 38%. Do those figures justify this Resolution of outstanding service and a bonus? Additionally, at the Annual retreat this year the Council members suggested 6 priorities for the year. When the City Manager was asked if these goals were achievable, she responded that 3 rather than 6 were more attainable. She cited staff shortages and budgetary constraints as problems that would inhibit the execution of all 6 priorities. So it would seem the City of Lakewood and its citizens would be better served by spending this suggested bonus money on resolving some of the problems mentioned by the City Manager herself.
August 7, 2022, 9:54 PM
Lenore Herskovitz
9 / 11 Council Members have viewed this comment
Please provide us with her performance standards, goals, and how she exceeded them, thereby warranting this bonus. How did she demonstrate, specifically, "strong leadership" and what ar, specifically, her significant accoplishments? What I read seemed somewhat of a "puff piece" without real meaning.
August 6, 2022, 2:35 PM
Melinda Eskridge
9 / 11 Council Members have viewed this comment
I urge you to reject rewarding Ms Hodgson with a bonus. Jefferson County’s declining school enrollment is a sign of a decaying city not a thriving city. Why are families leaving Lakewood? Is it because of the high crime rate, an ineffective justice system, burdensome taxes and fees, unaffordable housing,, a growing homeless population, road congestion exacerbated by Lakewood’s approval of blighted areas to workaround the growth initiative, Lakewood’s calling taxes fees to workaround Tabor or is it a combination of all the above? The citizens of Lakewood pay high taxes and they do not see their tax dollars going to address the problems that they are most concerned about. The City Manager should not be rewarded for poor management.
August 5, 2022, 9:23 PM
John Mohatt
9 / 11 Council Members have viewed this comment
I am concerned about the performance award that city council proposes to give to the city manager. Why is she receiving an award, and what is the dollar amount? These questions seem relevant when there are so many other pressing needs for Lakewood tax dollars. How about some relief for our stressed law enforcement officers? Or some additional pavement repair? I imagine most citizens of Lakewood would appreciate expenditures such as those I mentioned, or countless others, instead of padding an already fat paycheck. This reeks of cronyism.
August 5, 2022, 7:06 PM
Nellie Sparks
9 / 11 Council Members have viewed this comment
What are the performance standards for the City Manager and how is her performance reviewed? Simply performing a job doesn’t necessarily merit a bonus. If crime had decreased (instead of rising) that would have been outstanding performance. How did remotely working impact the public? Forget the employees for a moment since it would have been very rare for any organization to continue to work onsite during the initial period of the pandemic. I keep hearing accounts of long wait times for permits, inspections, etc. Did those indicators decrease? Are the direct report employees performance indicators used in the evaluation? Obviously, if their performance is not at an acceptable level or rogue (Planning), that should be a check in the didn’t meet column. Merely saying she was a compassionate leader is not a performance indicator or standard. Come up with a tangible action. For example, under her leadership crime decreased 45%. When addressing attracting and maintaining a talented workforce; what is the attrition rate, how many people were hired, and what constitutes a positive employee culture? What were the performance indicators for the HR Director and were they met or exceeded. The homeless problem in Lakewood has only gotten worse. What has been accomplished at the City Manager level to demonstrate it’s even being acknowledged. Similar cities in the Country have been scrutinized for above normal salaries. One recent example is The City of Bell scandal. If, the City Manager does receive the Bonus based on her stellar performance, could the monies be transferred to the Police Department? Perhaps they could purchase some equipment? Thank you.
August 5, 2022, 3:40 PM
Lynne Kinney
9 / 11 Council Members have viewed this comment
When something this ludicrous suddenly appears on an agenda, one must question what really is the motive. Now is not the time to be rewarding Staff employees with a bonus for several reasons. How much exactly do you plan on rewarding Ms Hodgson? The bonus amount on the document has been left open. Background: Ms Hodgson earns approximately $250,000 per year. Her salary is more than the Mayor of Denver ($172,000) and the Governor who earns $92,000 per year. According to, the salaries of Colorado City Managers range from $97k to $120k with the average salary $106k. (New information presented to me shows it looks like she has an "annual salary of $331,528 according to public records. This salary is 678 percent higher than average and 1,608 percent higher than median salary in City of Lakewood." I think it’s important to recognize individuals but this may not be the time to be shelling out money (regardless of what budget it is coming out of). We have residents who are relying on food banks and the generosity of others. Single moms who are barely affording to put gas in their cars. Senior citizens who are struggling to pay their rent and buy groceries. I’m sure you can think of people or examples of individuals struggling. There’s a lot of ways to recognize people besides doling out dollars. Designate a day in her honor, award the money to a lesser paid individual, donate the money in her honor to the Jeffco Action Center, or place a plaque on a bench in one of the parks. It just seems counterintuitive for the City Council to consider this form of recognition. It’s not using good judgment or being sympathetic to the residents. If Council determines they will proceed with the bonus, I hope Ms Hodgson will be gracious enough to refuse it or donate to someone or something to make Lakewood better. As representatives of the residents of this City, you all need to think long and hard about this recommendation. The demographics of Lakewood are broad. From very poor to quite well off. Please don't insult the residents of this City. There should be no reason to reward someone for doing their job, at the helm of the City the expectations are high and quite frankly proposing this should be considered a conflict of interest. I liked many of my bosses in public service, but the conflict of interest rules were spelled out - you leave the boss out of it. She's doing what she clearly is paid very well to do. Leave it at that.
August 3, 2022, 8:50 PM
Lynne Kinney
9 / 11 Council Members have viewed this comment
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