St Johns County has made a very substantial investment in its County Administrator, 63-year-old Michael Wanchick, who relocated with his family to St Johns County for the job in 2007. With no advance notice to the public or media, Commission Chairman John “Jay” Morris added an agenda item during the Tuesday September 17th meeting of the Board of County Commissioners to review the County Administrator’s performance and award him with a $21,000 pay raise.
Wanchick has a professional services agreement with St Johns County. Although the original contract ran through 2012, on November 2, 2010, while Ron Sanchez was chairman, the Board of Commissioners voted to extend the agreement five more years. The expiration date of the agreement, as it stands today, is July 30, 2017.
Wanchick is required to reside in St Johns County for the duration of the agreement, and he does. He and his wife, Leslie, and 25-year-old son, Adam, reside in the Anastasia Dunes subdivision in the City of St Augustine Beach. The residence was built in 2004. Wanchick and his wife purchased the home at 450 Ocean Forest Drive in February, 2008. They paid $587,500 for the home to Thomas A and Elaine J Brosnan. After a $50,000 homestead exemption, the Wanchicks only pay St Johns County property taxes based on an adjusted assessed value of $305,156 — almost $300,000 less than they paid for it. The property taxes for 2012 were paid on November 11th by National City Mortgage Company in the amount of $5,546.14 — taking advantage of an early payment discount.
According to the terms of the agreement, Wanchick must give the county a 90-day notice if he intends to vacate his office. The county, on the other hand, has to give Wanchick a 180-day notice if they do not intend to renew the agreement. And, unless he resigns, or commits a serious enough crime, malfeasance, nonfeasance, or the like, the county has to pay him for three-year’s salary and the cost of three-year’s health insurance for him and his family plus any unused vacation or sick leave. And if he dies, the county is paying the premiums for a $500,000 life insurance policy for his family. Among other perquisites of the job, Wanchick also gets $700 monthly for a car, or, he can use a county owned and maintained vehicle, if he chooses.
Its fair to say, in today’s job market, he is not likely to be looking for greener pastures — at least until the end of the contract in 2017. The legislature has enacted a law that would prohibit an exorbitant severance package like Wanchick enjoys. Under current Florida law, a six-month salary is the cap. Wanchick stands to collect well over $500,000 if the Board decided to replace him today with his current contract.
WANCHICK UNANNOUNCED EVALUATION 9/17/2013 MEETING
WANCHICK PREMATURELY EXTENDED CONTRACT