Amherst Town Manager Paul Bockelman gets two more years, salary bump

Published: 12/9/2021 2:55:15 PM

Modified: 12/9/2021 2:54:48 PM

AMHERST — Town Manager Paul Bockelman’s salary will rise to approximately $200,000 and he also has received a two-year extension of his contract that would keep him Amherst until Aug. 31, 2025, according to approvals by the Town Council.

Councilors in executive session on Monday voted in favor of a performance evaluation that will be confirmed at the council’s meeting Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m., when a public vote is taken. Bockelman received mostly high grades in the annual review.

“Paul continued to provide strong and innovative leadership to the town of Amherst,” Town Council President Lynn Griesemer said in a statement. “When confronted with the economic realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, he and his team have worked hard and in collaboration with our community partners to create a path forward,”

A 2% cost of living adjustment, and conversion of a $500 per month car allowance to salary, will bring his pay up from the current $189,021. Like last year, there is no performance-based salary increase.

Griesemer added that Bockelman will be an important guide for the transition to Amherst’s second Town Council, taking office Jan. 3. The council will feature six new members.

Bockelman began his tenure as town manager in August 2016. He said he looks forward to continuing strong relationships with incoming councilors and has appreciated the opportunity to work with the Town Council following the 2018 change in the town charter when Amherst eliminated both the Select Board and representative Town Meeting.

“It is an honor to work for the town of Amherst. And it is a real privilege to work alongside so many talented and committed town staff,” Bockelman said.

The council rated the town manager across six policies, including climate action, community health and safety, economic vitality, four major capital investments, housing affordability and racial equity, and social justice. Management goals were also considered, including administration, leadership and Personnel, finance, long-term vision, community engagement, and relationship with the Town Council.

Most goals were rated commendable or commendable/ satisfactory, with the highest ratings assigned to finance and relationship to the Town Council. Ratings were lower in the areas of economic vitality, administration, leadership and personnel, and community engagement.

In addition to the other contract adjustments, Bockelman is no longer taking a $3,000 per year disability insurance.

This year’s performance evaluation and ones from previous years can be viewed at

Scott Merzbach can be reached at [email protected].

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