ST. JOSEPH — City Manager John Hodgson has received another one-year contract extension after a glowing evaluation by the St. Joseph City Commission earlier this week.
“We really appreciate his work and his work ethic. His moral compass is the best we’ve ever seen,” said Mayor Mike Garey.
The evaluation was conducted in closed session Monday night and the mayor spoke with The Herald-Palladium on Tuesday.
“The ethical way in which he treats people and handles himself and staff is outstanding. We’re all very fortunate to have someone of his caliber here in our city,” Garey said.
The mayor said Hodgson, in his fifth year as city manager, did not ask for a pay increase or any changes to his contract, which is a year-to-year pact. His salary remains at $150,000 a year.
City Commissioner Laura Goos, who is mayor pro-tem, also had high praise for Hodgson.
“John is a great city leader. His historical knowledge, technical skills and understanding of city government is second to none. We are fortunate to have such a bright and respected leader for our city,” Goos said.
Hodgson, 52, is a 1985 graduate of St. Joseph High School and a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in government.
While in college, he spent summers working for the city, first with the sanitation department on the back of a truck, then three years in the finance department.
He worked for the CIA for three and a half years as a military analyst.
In 1994 he was hired as an administrative assistant to then St. Joseph City Manager Bill Sinclair. He later held the position of assistant city manager for 10 years when Frank Walsh was city manager.
In 2008 he took the job of community development director, specializing in zoning and land use. He became assistant city manager for the second time in 2014, and succeeded Richard Lewis as city manager in July 2015.
“I feel grateful to be part of the St. Joseph community. Our residents care, our businesses care, our city commission cares, our employees care,” Hodgson said, when contacted Tuesday. “We have a strong community, and a community of communities throughout the county, working together to lift each other up, even in these unprecedented times. It’s humbling to be allowed to be part of that work. I appreciate the city commission’s kind words and willingness to let me continue to be part of a great team.”
Garey said Hodgson has been the right person to lead the city through the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
“He is doing the best he can to maintain city operations while maintaining a safe environment for everyone,” Garey said. “He’s an outstanding person, a great family man.”
Asked whether Hodgson’s evaluation noted any areas in need of improvement, the mayor said, “We can always improve. We continue to talk about how we can work at improving city staff and city operations, always.”