Baldwin Park joins with other cities in posting city salaries on website

We are keeping track of the cities that are starting to post city employee salaries online after Gov. Schwarzenegger and the State Controller called for more transparency from local governments. Also, various news outlets (the Tribune) have made numerous public record requests from cities in recent weeks.

We already have Monrovia and Diamond Bar on the list of cities that have put the salaries online.

We can now add Baldwin Park to that list.

Know any other cities that have posted their city salaries online? Let me know.

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Glendora library director reacts to story, comments on new salary schedule

It is e-mail day here at Leftovers. Here is another one, but this time it is from the head of a Glendora department, one of the people affected (some opponents might say benefiting) by a new salary schedule and style of merit increase for city department heads that I reported in Friday’s newspaper.

The letter is from Library Director Robin Weed-Brown, who is the only department head who has received her max amount of merit increases under her previous agreement, and would now be eligible under the new plan for another round of increases.

Here is her letter, printed in full, unedited.

Re: Glendora Pay Hikes

I love Glendora and the job I have as their Library Director and department head. The Glendora community welcomed me with open arms 10 years ago and I have never looked back. Working for them and being part of their lives has enriched my life in ways I could not have anticipated. I am a professional librarian by passion, not by pay check.

My name was mentioned in your article on pay hikes on July 30 and I feel it is important to clarify points as they apply to me. I was hired as a civil service employee, and am not on contract as the other department heads are. The contract department heads have their salaries and benefits individually negotiated when hired and then adjusted annually thereafter.

I reached the top of my position’s established 5-step pay scale many years ago. Since then I have received cost-of-living increases when given to all city employees and one adjustment based on a ‘compensation & classification’ study done city-wide. I have not received a raise in several years. My vacation time is allocated based on years of service, as are all civil service employees.

The salary and benefit schedule approved by City Council on Tuesday July 27 was truly a step towards improved transparency in local government. Mr. Jeffers should be applauded for recommending it. Raises for department heads, however, should have been put on hold last year and this year in solidarity with other city employees who have taken cuts, in my opinion. Not that anyone asked.

Robin Weed-Brown, Director

Glendora Public Library

Check out letters from angry readers on this same subject here.

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Reader e-mails (people are angry about Glendora’s salary decision)

A lot of people aren’t happy about Glendora’s recent decision to change the way it does merit increases for its department heads.

While the city believes the new plan adds transparency while forcing department heads to “excel” rather to just perform satisfactory work to get a raise, many people are writing in complaining about how the city is doing its department heads a favor.

Here are some of the e-mails I have been getting today on the subject.

(e-mails are unedited)

“I believe that all of the directors are at step one of the new salary schedule and will be eligible for increases this fiscal year as their anniversary dates come up. If you look at their old salaries (published on the website- Google “Glendora Salaries”) most were hired by contract at a flat salary without any merit steps. All of these were placed on step one of the new schedule which makes them eligible for merit increases as they come up for annual review this year.” – Leonard (redacted)

“We live in Glendora, We think that the city of Glendora is criminal in what they are doing to increase the managers salaries and then lay off five employees???? What is wrong with these people?? I don’t care where the money is coming from. These five people should be reinstated now…..I am truly ashamed of our leaders…” – Edward and Gail (redacted)

“Not only did they lay off employees they are also making the other employees take furlough days and are making them pay their own pers. Why should the rich get to line their pockets while the lower men have to suffer and struggle to pay their bills and feed their families. I think it is very distasteful that they would approve this and just weeks before giving sob stories about how hard it was to lay off employees. There is something just so WRONG about the whole thing.” – Diana

PS – I would love to do a reader e-mails post once a week, but I get so very few e-mails from people who express their opinions on things I write about. If you do send me an e-mail on anything on this blog or anything written by me in the Tribune, I may want to use it in the future. You were warned.

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Glendora sets a standard for department head’s raises, should you go all Bell on them?

In tomorrow’s paper there will be a story about a new salary schedule for department heads in Glendora.

The issue has become something of a controversy, in part because the city is in the midst of heated negotiations with its employee’s association (which is none to happy with this plan) and also because of Bell.

Anything with the words “city” “employee” “salaries” is going to be heavily scrutinized right now, which makes it harder to decipher if an idea is good or not. People are going to hear the word “raise” concerning a city employee and automatically jump out of their seat. Talk about themselves getting a raise at their 9-5, and it would be a different story.

I am not saying Glendora’s plan is either good or bad, innovative or not. But in times like these, sometimes the assessment of issues is better under objective eyes than reactionary emotions.

As for the plan, you can decide for yourself when you read about it in tomorrow’s newspaper. Here is a glimpse.

GLENDORA — The City Council unanimously approved a pay raise schedule for department heads to increase transparency and incentives for those positions.

The plan sets up a method and schedule for raises for eight city department heads: community services director, deputy city manager, finance director, library director, planning director, police chief, public works director and city clerk.

Previously, raises for department heads were at the discretion of the city manager and could be done without the public’s knowledge, City Manager Chris Jeffers said.

“I have felt uneasy with that much potential leeway,” Jeffers said. “I am trying to bring some transparency … and this was all started before Bell.”

City employee salaries have been under scrutiny in the wake of the pay scandal in Bell, where it was found that the city manager was making close to $800,000, and others were receiving salaries far above the average for their positions.

But opponents of Glendora’s new salary schedule believe the plan is a way for the city to ensure higher salaries for department heads while the city has laid off employees.

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UPDATED: No Bell type salaries in local San Gabriel Valley cities

The reporting staff here at the Tribune came together like the A Team … no wait … The Justice League (way more fitting) to check in on local cities to see what the City Managers and City Councils are making in the wake of news reports about the city of Bell’s City Manager making something like $800,000.

Here is the rundown. (Note: most of us had this information on hand as we regularly check on these things. In cases we didn’t, the city handed over the information readily)

Glendora City Manager Chris Jeffers makes $201,816 annually.

La Verne’s (soon to be retired) City Manager Martin Lomeli makes $194,580 annually. (Side note: La Verne City Council just passed an ordinance for City Manager pay with $160,600 as the base pay with $195,000 at the peak)

San Dimas City Manager Blaine Michaelis makes $196,452 a year.

Azusa City Manager Fran Delach is paid $212,483 annually. (He got a 5 percent raise at the beginning of this year)

Rosemead City Manager Jeffrey Allred gets $175,000 a year.

El Monte City Manager Rene Bobadilla makes $170,000 a year.

South El Monte City Manager Tony Ybarra takes in $120,000 a year.

Covina’s Daryl Parrish’s annual salary is $199,500.

West Covina’s Andrew Pasmant gets $223,656 a year. (UPDATE: Councilman Mike Touhey called to tell me that Pasmant took the equivalent of a 5-percent pay cut on his deferred comp. That saves the city about $11,000, Touhey said.)

Walnut’s Rob Wishner is paid $196,650 a year.

La Puente’s Josi Kenline gets $160,000 a year.

Industry City Manager Kevin Radecki takes in $158,133 a year.

Diamond Bar’s James DeStefano’s salary is about $194,000 a year.

Baldwin Park’s Chief Executive Officer made $152,000 a year in 2006, up to $800 a month in lodging, $1,200 a month in health and dental – reimbursed in cash if not all spent – and $300 a month in vehicle expenses or a city car.

As for City Council stipends, San Dimas councilmen make $620 a month while Mayor Curt Morris earns $830 a month.

In La Verne, the city council brings in $519 a month and is entitled to the same benefits as executive management employees. Council woman Robin Carder and Mayor Don Kendrick waived those benefits. In addition, the redevelopment agency pays $30 per meeting. City Clerk Evelyn Clark said they meet about four time per year.

Glendora council members bring in $700 a month.

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