Broken Arrow City Manager base salary is more money than Governor of Oklahoma Mary Fallin

A six-figure salary, a car allowance, even extra money to pay the mortgage.

It what you'll find if you look over some of the Green Country's city managers' contracts.

Ellen Gould stays busy as the manager of a resale store in Broken Arrow, and she says her work is never done.

"When you have to manage something you're kind of 24/7 even when you go home. You're still thinking about it. There's always the little problems. You're the one that has to fix them," said Gould.

She says she can only imagine the challenge it is to manage a city, especially the size of Broken Arrow, and she realizes getting a good person means paying a fair salary.

"You should pay well because you want someone that's qualified," she said.

The 2NEWS Investigators obtained the contracts for city managers in Jenks, Owasso, Bixby and Broken Arrow. Tulsa's city manager is an "at-will" position so he doesn't have a contract, but we did get his salary. The salaries for the city managers we looked at range from $120,000 to $153,000 a year. Plus, there are extras like car allowances, cell phones and special retirement perks.

Bixby's City Manager, Doug Envoldsen, gets $250 a month for a phone and $650 a month for a car. His total package is $162,000 a year.

Owasso's former City Manager, Rodney Ray, got a lump sum of an extra $12,000 for retirement within days of starting his newest contract. Ray's total with salary and the other benefits is $157,000 a year.

Jenks' City Manager, Mike Tinker, gets an extra $4,000 a year for his family's medical expenses. He comes in at $143,000 a year.

Tulsa pays it's City Manager, Jim Twombly, $143,000 but with no extras since he doesn't have a contract.

Broken Arrow's salary came in the highest, making $10,000 more than Tulsa's. City Manager Tom Moton's base salary is $153,500 a year, more than the Governor of Oklahoma.

Tom Moton's contract includes $550 a month for a car, $18,000 added each year to his retirement package, and $12,000 for the first six months of his contract to cover the mortgage on his old home in North Carolina.

His total compensation package comes to $192,000 a year, all paid by the taxpayer.

Broken Arrow City Councilman Mike Lester says BA is different from other surrounding cities.

"The various cities around Broken Arrow certainly have very competent city managers, but we don't look at what they're doing or what they pay their city manager. We have to be competitive for what our comparable size cities are," said Lester.

Lester says to get a good person you have to pay well.

He says Broken Arrow looks at larger Oklahoma towns like Edmond and Norman, and we did too. Both Edmond's and Norman's city managers make $3,000 more annually than Broken Arrow's city manager.

As a manager and a taxpayer, Ellen says that's a big figure.

"That might be a little high, you know if you take into consideration what is being paid in Tulsa," said Ellen.

Still, she says as long as Moton is good for Broken Arrow she's okay with the salary. She says to get a good person you must pay them well and so far, she's been pleased with Moton's performance.

The 2NEWS Investigators have looked into how much city managers spend using the city's credit card.

We found two that go to lunch, on average, every other day on the taxpayer's dime. We're Tracking Your Tax Dollars Tuesday night at 10.

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