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News BYTES: Scottsdale City Manager Jim Thompson to seek retirement

Photo of Scottsdale City Manager Jim Thompson
Scottsdale City Manager Jim Thompson earlier this summer at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.
(Photos: Arianna Grainey/

Scottsdale City Council to consider municipal moves Aug. 22

By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press

Found a part of the Aug. 22 Scottsdale City Council agenda is an item whereas City Manger Jim Thompson, earlier this month, announced to the local governing board his intentions to retire from public service at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.

The Scottsdale Independent was the first to report the item.

“On August 8, 2022, City Manager Jim Thompson announced his upcoming retirement necessitating that his employment contract be terminated effective October 10, 2022,” the August report to City Council states.

Scottsdale Human Resources Director William Hylen explains through the municipal contract with Educational Services Inc., Mr. Thompson has asked to stay if an interim role is found.

“The city has an existing contract with ESI. This contract allows some retirees, if approved, to continue to perform services for the city through ESI. These arrangements are temporary and exist for business continuity purposes especially given the current work force shortage. Pursuant to the ESI contract, the retirees must continue to adhere to all city policies, including public records policies and retention schedules,” he explained of tenets of the municipal agreement.

“Mr. Thompson has offered to continue to perform services for the city through the ESI contract as an employee of ESI until his services are no longer needed. Pursuant to the city’s existing contract with ESI, this arrangement would have a maximum term of 1 year, if not previously terminated or otherwise extended.”

Mr. Thompson seeks to remain in the position until Oct. 12, the report states.

“If the council agrees, Jim Thompson could be appointed as acting city manager during this time,” Mr. Hylen explained pointing out the busy event season just around the corner. “The council can end any acting city manager appointment at any time with the passage of a new appointment of a city manager or acting city manager.”

Today, Mr. Thompson’s salary is $375,000, the report to City Council states.

“The city manager’s current salary is $375,000, but his new salary under the ESI contract is proposed to be $347,000,” Mr. Hylen pointed out. “With the additional administrative fees paid to ESI and additional savings that could also be realized under this new arrangement, the fiscal impact is anticipated to be relatively neutral, but no more than his current total compensation.”

Administrative duties at City Hall will likely shift if Mr. Thompson retains his position as an inevitable search for a new city manager will commence, city officials say.

“If approved, the city manager would be responsible to restructure and delegate some of his responsibilities but would continue to perform as the acting city manager in his new capacity,” Mr. Hylen said. “He would further continue to serve at the pleasure of the City Council. Ultimately, the City Council has the authority to provide for the organization, conduct and operation of the several offices and departments of the city.”

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