West Covina set to hire retiring city manager under 960 plan

The West Covina City Council at this week’s meeting unanimously voted to hire City Manager Andrew Pasmant – set to retire at the end of the month – under the 960 plan.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System allows retired employees to accept a temporary appointment and work less than 960 hours per fiscal year. It would save the city about $18,000 a month.

Read Staff Writer Martiza Velazquez’s story posted earlier this week:

WEST COVINA – After a decade on the job, City Manager Andrew Pasmant has announced that he will retire this month.

Pasmant’s official date of retirement is Dec. 30, however he may stick around longer to help the city transition to a new city manager, a process city council members said could take awhile.

“As I told the council in a letter, there are a lot of challenges that the city will still face and if they need my help, I will stay a little longer to make the transition as easy as possible,” Pasmant said. “The city has been good to me, so I want to reciprocate.”

Councilmembers are slated to discuss tonight how to begin their search for a new city manager and what to do in the interim.

One of their options is to hire Pasmant temporarily under the “960 plan.”

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System allows retired employees to accept a temporary appointment as a “retired annuitant” as long as the employee in the position works less than 960 hours per fiscal year.

The move could save about $18,000 a month, according to city documents, because the city would not have to pay benefits including retirement payments, health care benefits and accrual of vacation, sick leave and floating holidays.

Pasmant has also offered to stay in his position under the terms of his current contract until an agreed-upon date in 2012.

“I know it’s going to be amicable, whatever the situation is,” Pasmant said. “I know we have a good relationship and I’ll leave it to council what they think is in the best interest of the community.”

Councilman Steve Herfert said the process to find a new city manager won’t be easy or quick.

“What we’re faced with is we won’t probably find anyone as experienced as him. They will probably be newer and we’re going to take our time. We’re not going to do this real quick,” Herfert said.

Herfert said Pasmant has been a major asset to the city. The city has recently been recognized for being energy efficient and business-friendly.

“(City managers) set the tone for how the employees react and how professional the city is and I think we’re a very respected city and I think that has to do with his leadership,” Herfert said.

After retiring, the 56-year-old Pasmant, of Downey, hopes to do more philanthropic work and plans to stay active in local organizations.

“I think I have been very blessed to have worked here,” Pasmant said. “I’m very proud of the accomplishments we’ve had here in the city.”