A five-year contract with a starting annual salary of $201,510 to hire Patrick Cates as county manager goes before Douglas County commissioners on Thursday.

Cates’ employment will be automatically extended each year, unless he or the county give 90-day notice to terminate. The county’s decision to terminate must be by a majority of the board of commissioners.

Cates will be solely employed by the county, but will be eligible to take occasional teaching, writing or consulting jobs with the approval of the chairman.

The county will be able to terminate the contract at any time with advanced 30 days notice, while Cates can end the contract with 60 days written notice.

Should the county terminate Cates for reasons other than cause, he would receive a lump sum of three months salary, plus any unused annual leave or other benefits.

Termination for cause includes a crime or a willful violation of a law or county policy governing conduct of public officers. If Cates were terminated for cause, he would not be eligible for severance. The same is true if Cates resigns the position before the expiration of his term of employment.

Under the contract, Cates will be eligible for any salary changes and merit pay increases made for all other exempt management employees.

Commissioners are scheduled to meet starting 9 a.m. Thursday with the county manager as the first item after the consent agenda.