A retired banker and former chairman of the York County Democratic Party introduced himself Tuesday to the York City Council as a temporary business administrator for the city.
Michael Johnson started working April 21 after the departure of former business administrator Michael O'Rourke, who held the position for 14 years but said he resigned last month at Mayor Kim Bracey's request.
Bracey said she has "the utmost confidence in Mr. Johnson."
"I know that Mike will provide helpful oversight," she said.
Bracey said she served with Johnson on the city's General Authority years ago. Johnson has also served as an interim business manager for the York City School District, and he is a current member of the district's Community Education Council overseeing the financial recovery process.
Johnson, who has lived in York for several decades, is also active in the historic preservation community.
"I like fresh challenges," he said Tuesday.
Contract: In his new role, Johnson will supervise the business administration department, manage city finances, evaluate and possibly negotiate agreements with other parties and establish a search committee for a permanent business administrator.
According to his contract, the city will pay Johnson at a rate of $75 per hour. The total cost cannot exceed $42,000, according to the agreement.
The money will come from the city's "other professional services" budget, Bracey said.
The contract will expire Dec. 31. Either party can cancel at any time with a 10-day notice, and the contract could be extended beyond Dec. 31 if both parties agree.
Johnson told the council he is "always open to emails, texts, calls, whatever."
"I look forward to doing a good job," he said.
O'Rourke: Neither the council nor the mayor directly addressed the circumstances of O'Rourke's resignation Tuesday. Bracey called it "confidential in nature."
Last week, O'Rourke said Bracey showed up at his house Sunday, April 13, and asked for his resignation. He said she did not specify a reason.
The next day, O'Rourke said, his email and building access were shut off.
According to a separation agreement, O'Rourke will remain on the city payroll until Aug. 31, collecting a paycheck for his accrued but unused vacation time.
Then, when O'Rourke's retirement goes into effect Sept. 1, the city will pay O'Rourke for his remaining vacation time of 1,060 hours.
Taken together, that amounts to more than 46 weekly paychecks. That means the city will pay him more than $97,000 in vacation time.
— Reach Erin James at email@example.com.