William Jabjiniak will start as new economic development director Monday, even though a plan to raise private dollars to pay for his relocation costs has been halted, Mesa officials said.
A controversial effort by the East Valley Partnership to raise funds from private businesses to help pay for Jabjiniak’s move to Mesa was scrapped this week amid concerns from Mesa City Council members of the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Now, city officials say they will “fulfill the commitment” to Jabjiniak. They would not release the details of any relocation package that would be offered by Mesa.
Jabjiniak will be paid $142,000 annually by the city. He originally turned down Mesa’s job offer because of concerns over selling his home in Richmond, Va., according to city officials.
“We’re not sure what the package is,” said Steve Wright, a city spokesman.
The East Valley Partnership solicited private business groups such as the Mesa Chamber of Commerce and home developer DMB Associ- ates to contribute to a relocation fund for Jabjiniak, after he turned down Mesa’s initial offer.
The city has been without a permanent economic development director for two years. Richard Mulligan left for Chandler in 2005.
The deal for private developers to help Jabjiniak “protect equity” in his home fell through after it became public.
The relocation funds would not have been part of Jabjiniak’s official compensation package with the city, and the East Valley Partnership refused to elaborate on the exact nature of the deal.
The partnership did disclose, however, that it intended to collect money from local businesses to make Jabjiniak’s monthly mortgage payments on a $500,000 home if he was unable to sell it quickly.
City Manager Chris Brady has said the city could not pay for relocation costs above the standard deal offered to employees to reimburse normal expenses associated with moving.
It is now unclear how much Mesa would spend above Jabjiniak’s annual salary to relocate him to Mesa. Jabjiniak is the economic development director for Richmond.
“The details are being worked out, and we are going to fulfill that commitment,” Wright said.