Town Manager Libby Gibson received a contract extension and a significant pay raise following an executive session vote of the Select Board last month.
The contract amendment, which was unanimously endorsed by the board, extends Gibson’s employment as town manager through Sept. 30, 2025, adding one year and six months to the existing contract, which had been set to expire in April 2024.
The amendment will immediately boost Gibson’s salary to $226,000 retroactive to Jan. 1, 2023, a $31,000 annual increase, or 16 percent bump, from her current annual salary of $195,000. The deal will ultimately pay her $250,000 in the final nine months of the contract. It also requires Gibson to give the town at least one-year notice of her retirement from the town.
The new deal with Gibson was formally announced by the Select Board Wednesday night as it released the results of the executive session vote. The contract amendment document was requested Wednesday and obtained by the Current on Thursday.
Select Board chair Dawn Hill Holdgate said the contract amendment was in line with other non-union employee pay raises recently endorsed by the board following the completion of a municipal compensation study, and will also help with succession planning for the town manager position.
“Obviously the wage and benefit analysis came out a few weeks ago and it became pretty clear that just in comparison to other similar sized towns, regardless of the additional cost of living on Nantucket, we needed to make some adjustments on most all pay scales,” Hill Holdgate said. “She's not the only one getting a fairly decent raise to be in more in line with other communities, particularly with the level of responsibility she has. The raise is in line with what is happening with her staff and the negotiations and she still went a little below what the actual suggestion from the study was.”
The negotiations and the vote occurred during the Select Board’s May 18 executive session meeting, which was outgoing chair Jason Bridge’s final meeting as a member of the board. Noting that Gibson is coming to the end of her career with the town, Hill Holdgate said the extension and the provision of the contract amendment that requires Gibson to give the town one-year notice of her retirement will assist the board when it comes time to initiate a search for her replacement.
“We used this opportunity thinking, if we have to replace the town manager, it’s going to be a really big hurdle and most likely when we replace her, unless we get really lucky with someone on Nantucket, we’re not only going to have to provide them with a substantial salary in line with what Libby’s being paid now, we’ll probably have to find them a house,” Hill Holdgate said. “There’s an opportunity to get an extension, to get her to the 30-year mark, and guaranteeing her a few more raises, and can we get her to give a full year’s notice when she’s ready to retire, so we can do the correct search level we need to. That was a big part to the negotiations, to get substantial notification. With her level of integrity, she would do that anyway, but it was good to memorialize it in the contract.”