The Deltona City Commission confirmed that interim City Manager Marc-Antonie Cooper will receive $135,000 annually if he returns to the deputy city manager position.

DELTONA — If Marc-Antonie Cooper, the city’s interim manager, returns to his original position, his new salary will be $135,000, an amount the commission unanimously approved Monday.


Cooper, who was hired in August 2018 as deputy city manager, was making just under $120,000 when the City Commission on Jan. 28 named him interim city manager following Jane Shang’s resignation. Shang served as the manager since June 1, 2015.


During the Feb. 17 commission meeting, a unanimous vote of 6-0 — Commissioner Loren King was absent — took the interim manager’s pay to $150,000. Cooper had requested $175,000 — Shang’s salary — but half of the commission voiced opposition.


Clarification on the contract was requested on Monday’s agenda because the previously approved agreement said that Cooper’s pay would be reduced by $2,700 per month if the commission isn’t satisfied with his performance or if he doesn’t become the next city manager.


The reduction would result in a lower salary than he was already making as deputy city manager. If he returns to the position of deputy city manager, Cooper requested a $15,000 pay increase since his original interim salary request wasn’t approved.


Since the commission plans to hire a firm to search nationwide for Deltona’s next manager, Cooper’s future with the city isn’t set in stone.


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The next city manager, if Cooper doesn’t apply for the position and/or isn’t chosen, could decide to keep him on as deputy manager, in which case his salary would be $135,000. He would have caps on sick time and no caps on vacation, as is the case for other city staffers.


In a phone interview Tuesday, Cooper said he hasn’t yet decided whether or not he’ll apply for the city manager position.


Should he retire, resign or be terminated, Cooper will be paid all accrued and unused vacation and sick time, per the contract.


Resident Terri Ellis, communications director for Deltona Strong, questioned the idea of compensation for accrued vacation time if the individual is fired.


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Ellis also raised concerns about the lack of employee evaluations, and asked Cooper if he was comfortable not having clearly defined goals by which the commission could measure his performance.


“I think you're very capable person, and I feel very good about the possibility of you maybe becoming our city manager, but as an interim manager, I wouldn't feel comfortable with that,” Ellis said.


Resident Doug MacDonald said the fact that Deltona has had at least a dozen city managers in 25 years is “embarrassing” and “shameful.”


MacDonald also said he expects a good city manager will cost more than $150,000.


Resident Brandy White said $30,000 is a big raise for what Cooper is doing.


“Not saying you shouldn’t be compensated at all, I’m just saying we need to learn to tighten our belts,” White said.