Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Not A Bargain, But A Market-Rate New City Manager

Fifty+One BLOG
Jan. 11, 2012 | Some in San Leandro will issue protest over Chris Zapata’s pending contract to become their next city manager. A staff report released today reveals the former National City city manager will receive a three-year, $223,000 contract. Also included is a lump sum payment of $16,500 for relocating to the East Bay city, while contributed 10 percent of his salary to CalPERS.

People may scoff at spending such an amount to a public employee in a time of fiscal uncertainty. Did he expect to work in San Leandro and not live in the Bay Area? This may be a excellent point, but city leaders virtually gave Zapata or any other candidate a leg up when they publicly stated having its next leader live within city limits, especially one who previously resided in San Diego County. Curiously, former city manager Stephen Hollister only lives in nearby Castro Valley.

The issue San Leandrans should have no issue with is Zapata’s yearly salary. The San Leandro Times did the city a major disservice two years ago when it published the city’s top employee salaries. Former City Manager Stephen Hollister topped the list at $202,000. Residents cried foul over such an expenditure, but The Times is beffudingly inept and gave no context.

Hollister’s salary as compared to other neighboring cities was an amazing bargain. Zapata, at $223,000 with no exceptions for a pay raise within the contract, is still a good deal for the city and for him. Zapata made $165,000 in National City without a pay increase since taking over the job in 2004.

(This article is featured in today's Fifty+One blog.)
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I need to find a way to comment on this salary structure should it be correct. the 10% pers contribution is too high especially in light of pending negotiation with police over retirement benefits. More later! Tony Santos

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