Group to scrutinize salaries, perks given to City Council
Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Created: 05/28/2011 10:15:40 PM PDT

UPLAND – City employees’ salaries and City Council members’ benefits are about to undergo some scrutiny by city officials.

Councilmen Brendan Brandt and Gino Filippi will work with Stephen Dunn, the city’s finance director and interim city manager, to review potential cuts to the 2011-12 fiscal year budget.

They plan to meet this week to discuss salaries and council benefits such as lifetime medical coverage.

“I have been a proponent for some time of looking at the entire range of city salaries from the top to the bottom. I think that’s what we need to do and if necessary make the appropriate adjustment on salaries,” Brandt said.

Total compensation for employees was budgeted at more than $36 million in the
2010-11 fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Included in that budget was former City Manager Robb Quincey’s compensation of more than $460,000.

Dunn said the city is allocating $300,000 in total compensation for the city manager position in the upcoming fiscal year budget.

The assistant city manager position, which is vacant, will be completely eliminated, Dunn said. The position was budgeted for $214,418 in compensation during the current fiscal year.

The city is currently looking at a $1.7 million gap in the general fund.

The city would need to negotiate with employee groups before making any salary reductions, Dunn said.

“They have to agree with that unless the council wants to override that, which would cause a legal battle, so the only group that’s not represented is the executive group,” he said.

Executive management costs the city more than $2.7 million in compensation. That includes all department heads as well as the assistant city manager position.

Medical benefits given to certain City Council members after they leave the council will also be reviewed.

Brandt said he has asked the city attorney to look into abolishing the benefit for the council.

“We need to also evaluate it as to whether it is a proper incentive to recruit and obtain a department head,” he said.

Brandt said he will not take the benefit, nor does he want it.

City Council members who have completed two terms and were on the council as of Feb. 28, 2004, are eligible for the benefit.

Several department heads were also eligible for the benefit, some of which no longer work for the city.

In February 2009, the City Council voted to replace the year “2004” with the year “2009,” which makes current department heads eligible. The council was the same in 2009 as it was in 2004.

Former Mayor John Pomierski and former Councilman Tom Thomas are currently receiving the benefit, according to the City Clerk’s Office.

The current council members, with exception of Councilman Gino Filippi, are eligible.

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