City Manager Kevin Phelps

City Manager Kevin Phelps received a raise and council-approved charging stations.

The Glendale City Council approved electric charging stations and a raise for City Manager Kevin Phelps at its Jan. 26 meeting.

Two electric charging stations will be added at Glendale City Hall and will not cost the city any money for installation, but the city will have to pay for electricity used by the charging stations.

There are already four electric charging stations at the Glendale Regional Public Safety Training Center. 

Glendale has 12 electric vehicles and is ordering seven more.

Though there is currently no plan to reduce carbon emissions in Glendale, the city electric bill was reduced by almost $300,000 from 2019 to 2020, according to Director of Field Operations Michelle Woytenko. Glendale paid APS $4.8 million in 2020 and $5.1 million in 2019.

“Electric vehicles have significantly lower vehicle maintenance costs. The program also helps to familiarize our employees and the public with electric vehicles, should they be considering purchasing one in the future,” Councilman Bart Turner said.

Turner was the lone vote against as city council approved giving Phelps a base salary to $270,000, which is a 12% increase from his previous salary of $241,000.

Phelps also will be eligible for an annual bonus of $4,080 and will receive $450 a month for a vehicle allowance. He will also receive $12,000 from the city every year for the “dues, memberships and attendance at seminars of professional organizations.”

According to Sue Breding, a city spokeswoman, the Glendale city manager salary will be below that of city managers in Phoenix ($315,000), Scottsdale ($279,000) and Mesa ($271,000). The new salary is higher than city managers of Gilbert ($268,792), Chandler ($247,346), Surprise ($245,239), Peoria ($233,700), Goodyear ($231,574) and Avondale ($231,525).

Turner declined a Glendale Star request to explain his vote.

During a Jan. 26 study session, council heard a presentation about installing more 5G towers from Donald Bessler of PWLF. The council first heard plans for 5G towers in September 2020.

This presentation answered questions council members had from the previous discussion and brought up more questions, which emphasized public health and safety concerns.

“We have basically no information on the public health and safety implications of 5G. … It would seem to me that another very urgent issue becomes the ability to gather as much information as possible,” said Councilwoman Joyce Clark.

Bessler received approval to continue planning the installation of more 5G towers and will host a Facebook Live event in March to answer questions and concerns from the public. 

“We want to meet our residents where they are. We want to continue to move this issue forward in a timely manner. … We see it as being interactive, where residents can call or email in to ask questions. We see a panel of experts; hopefully we have somebody from the FCC that can address the public health and safety questions,” Bessler said.   

—Staff writer Ayanna Muhammad can be reached at amuhammad@