The city has approved an employment contract with its new city manager, who starts the job on Nov. 21 while making the move from Gainesville, where he previously served as city manager. The City Council unanimously voted on Monday to approve the contract of Russ Blackburn with little discussion. He will be paid a base salary of $190,000, according to the contract. “We got a first-round draft pick at value, and I think we should all be very excited about the future,” Mayor Greg Oravec said. Blackburn will earn roughly $16,000 more annually than his predecessor, ousted City Manager Jeff Bremer, who earned more than $174,000 last year. The terms of Blackburn’s contract, however, are similar to Bremer’s. Bremer was suddenly forced out in September – three months before his intended resignation – a victim of his increasingly toxic relationship with Oravec. Blackburn, who once served eight years as Martin County’s administrator, will be eligible for a 5 percent raise a year into the job based on a performance review. The city will pay $7,500 toward his relocation from where he served as city manager for a decade. The city also will put 10½ percent of Blackburn’s base salary to his retirement fund, the contract states.