Legally I do not believe Mr. Malin has done anything wrong. This whole issue relates to the interpretation of contract language. With city administrator contracts, it is important to note, the difference between merit based increases to base salary and cost of living adjustments (COLA).
COLA is not specifically addressed in this contract. Therefore, often times, it is considered a Benefit in contracts of this nature and is routinely implemented, just as other benefits are implemented (dental, health care, etc.). Merit based increases are to come before the council, rightfully so, on a regular basis in conjunction with performance reviews.
In his contract, Benefits are clearly articulated: he is entitled to these and authorized to give these Benefits, just as he would to department heads. This is what he has done in this situation. This is, historically, what has happened in the City of Davenport.
Differing opinions are viewed as contract language disputes and will need to be resolved through available remedies.
As an elected official, I am charged with the responsibility of doing what is in the best interests of our city. A vote for "breach of contract", in my opinion, is not in our overall best interests given the circumstances that have been laid out before us.
That said: this issue could have been addressed easily and professionally. Some
of the council members knowingly and purposefully disgraced a public
servant in a blatant power move.
It is my hope that the council will operate in a less dysfunctional manner in the future.