Dougherty was region’s lowest paid top administrator – by a wide margin


KINGMAN – The departures of city managers in Lake Havasu City and Kingman has helped shine a light on salary considerations for local government executives.

The Lake Havasu City Council during its Tuesday meeting approved a contract that will start new City Manager Jess Knudson at an annual salary of $146,000.


Retiring City Manager Charlie Cassens exits with an annual salary of $167,513, while Bullhead City Manager Toby Cotter is paid $155,723 per year.

The city manager of Needles, California earns $200,605, while Mohave County Administrator Mike Hendrix’s annual salary totals $147,000.

And since the relative low pay provided to Kingman city managers, salary considerations were part of the focus when Mayor Monica Gates and three Kingman City Council members met Monday to discuss the process of recruiting Kingman’s next fulltime city manager. Jim Bacon is currently serving as interim manager following the end of November exit of former City Manager John Dougherty. The city is paying roughly $90,000 for Bacon’s temporary services provided through a contract with Bacon and Interim Public Management.

Dougherty was earning $127,500 per year and Kingman’s next fulltime manager will likely be paid a great deal more. Gates and the three Council members agreed that Kingman must pay more to get the type of manager they want.

They didn’t actually nail down a salary range during the discussion but clearly, by consensus, they are willing to go up to $155,000 or more for the next manager.

The Kingman position won’t be posted until January and interviews with finalists are envisioned for mid-March of next year. A new manager could start sometime in April.