Avondale Estates’ new city manager Patrick Bryant starts work Sept. 17. Courtesy of Patrick Bryant

Avondale Estates commission approves Talladega ex as new city manager

Avondale Estates’ city commission unanimously approved Patrick Bryant as the new city manager on August 16. Bryant, 37, was the sole finalist to replace Clai Brown who resigned last Feb. 14 after a decade on the job. Bryant, who attended Thursday’s special called meeting, has already found a home within city limits and starts work Sept. 17.

He was chosen from among 49 applicants, with five receiving interviews from city commissioners. Born and raised in Birmingham, Bryant was previously city manager in Talladega, Al., though he was terminated without cause in June.

His annual base salary is $145,000. According to City Attorney Stephen Quinn, other features of Bryant’s contract include:

*An 180-day probation period when he can be terminated with or without cause and without—in either case—severance pay.

*After 180 days if terminated without cause he gets a severance of six months base salary. He gets no severance if terminated with cause or if he resigns.

*He is employed for, according to the city charter, “indefinite duration.” His performance is reviewed each year when he can receive “adjustments” in both base salary and benefits.

*If Bryant quits prior to Dec. 31, 2020, he owes the city $10,000 in “liquidated damages.”

*He receives standard benefits—insurance, vacation and leave time—as any city employee.

Brown’s final annual base was $179,510.40, with a practically-unheard of severance package that included full annual salary plus bonuses and accrued vacation and sick leave even if he resigned.

When Brown initially announced his resignation this came to $317,408.17 or about 9 percent of the city’s anticipated 2018 expenditures. Ultimately, however, the commission declined to honor the initial severance package, which was dramatically reduced.

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