Apr 18, 2013 2:43 PM by Andy Koen
COLORADO SPRINGS - Mayor Steve Bach is defending his decision to award $25,000 bonuses last year to two of his most highly paid employees. Chief of Staff Laura Neumann, who earns a base salary of $165,000, and City Attorney Chris Melcher, who earned $187,529, both received the gifts.
A statement to News 5 praised Neumann for introducing a new strategic planning process and credited her with the expansion of evening bus routes, the return of street lights and increasing the ranks of the police and fire departments. Melcher was celebrated for his work surrounding the Memorial Health System lease to University of Colorado Health.
The statement also notes that the bonuses were one-time and approved by City Council as part of the overall budget. The full text of the statement is posted below:
"Chief of Staff Laura Neumann was instrumental in implementing the City's new Strategic Planning Process. For the first time, Executive Branch departments now have Breakthrough Strategies that feature time-specific goals. This new approach results in delivering improved customer service to our citizens. Critical core services such as more evening bus routes, a return of street lighting, and an increase in police and fire strength have all taken place with her guidance and within a flat budget. City Attorney Chris Melcher was critical to the successful completion of the lease of the Memorial Health System to University of Colorado Health. Many fantastic community benefits, such as a branch medical campus of UCCS, will be coming to Colorado Springs thanks in large part to Chris' hard work. It is important to remember that these one-time bonuses were paid within the overall budget and personnel policy structures approved by City Council."