Polk County Administrator Mark Wandro is leaving the county’s employment with a separation package that appears to include at least $106,000 in additional pay.
Wandro’s written “retirement agreement and release,” which is expected to be approved by the county board of supervisors on Tuesday, calls for him to leave employment on June 30, while continuing to collect his base pay and benefits through Jan. 1, 2021. Wandro’s annual salary in 2019 was $212,432.
The agreement also calls for Wandro to collect severance pay in accordance with a county policy manual “as discussed with Wandro on June 17, 2020.” The written document doesn’t specify what the severance pay is, how much it totals or who participated in the June 17 discussion.
The retirement agreement also says Wandro is entitled to “all other benefits” contemplated in his employment agreement “as discussed with Wandro on June 17, 2020.” The nature and value of the benefits aren’t detailed in the agreement.
The Board of Supervisors met on June 17 with the staff, but with a one-item agenda: “COVID-19 & human resources policies.”
Wandro could not be reached for comment Friday.
Supervisor Matt McCoy said Friday that the agreement with Wandro is a “pretty standard retirement package with payout for his service and his banked vacation time and sick time and, you know, everything like that.”
As part of the agreement, the county — including the supervisors and all other elected officials — must pledge not to criticize Wandro or his job performance in any way that could be considered “degrading, belittling, deprecating, criticizing (or) discrediting.”
The agreement was signed Wednesday by Wandro and McCoy.
Wando has served as Polk County administrator since 2013. He previously worked for the Iowa Department of Transportation and served as assistant Polk County engineer for more than 10 years.
In 2018, the county enhanced the benefits plan for retiring administrators, with supervisors saying they did so at Wandro’s recommendation.