At the Teton County Library board meeting Thursday, Vice Chair Grace Robertson took what she called an “unprecedented” step.

In discussing the arrival of new Library Director Kip Roberson, due to start July 6, she shared his starting salary, which comes to $118,520 annually.

Information about the terms of employment for public employees like Roberson has always been available upon request as a public record, but the library board has not voluntarily shared it during previous hirings.

Roberson will also receive up to $4,000 in relocation cost reimbursements.

At his request, the board also shared the terms of his severance package, which gives him six months’ salary and three months of health insurance if he is fired without cause in the first year, and three months’ salary if that happens during his second year.

Robertson said the incoming director is also working with the county to find subsidized housing.

“Our aim here is to provide facts to satisfy the interest that we know is out there, so we’d like to give you the facts of his employment,” Robertson said. “And I guess you could call that transparency.”

To help the transition from Interim Director Deb Adams to Roberson, the library board is retaining the services of consultant Maureen Sullivan, who helped with the hiring process for the new director. Sullivan’s original contract for the hiring process was approved at up to $20,000 at a rate of $400 per hour.

On Thursday, the board extended Sullivan’s contract at the same hourly rate to guide the transition.

Between now and July 17, Sullivan is contracted to work up to 20 hours, which would total $8,000, bringing her full contract to $28,000.

Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-7079 or

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

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