Yucca Valley, Ca.-The Town Council lavished their praise on Town Manager Mark Nuaimi just before approving a 3 year contract that increased his current total package from $293,339.00, including insurance, contributions and allowances, to $300,840.00 by 2015.
Councilman Rowe came out of the box first to give some background on how a Town or City Manager’s salary was “formulated” based on surrounding communities. A CEO Comparison chart was presented showing other cities including General Manager Ed Muzik of the Hi-Desert Water District, who earns more than Nuaimi.
The Hi-Desert Star quotes Rowe, “These are sizable salaries, no matter what jurisdiction you’re in,” Councilwoman Dawn Rowe said, explaining that salaries of town and city managers are indexed according to the salaries of surrounding cities with similar populations. “Mark works hard for his time,” Rowe said, explaining that paying the town manager more in deferred compensation costs the town less than simply giving him a bigger salary.”
Councilman Robert Lombardo read a prepared statement, “It is easy to say that Mark Nuaimi is overpaid when many of us don’t even earn (that much).” (Yet according to his FPPC Form 700, Lombardo earns $100,000.00 per year, as does his wife. Another $100,000.00 per year is received in lease payments and he values his practice at over $1 million dollars.) Lombardo Form 700 link
Next at bat was Councilman George Huntington who was quoted by reporter Courtney Vaughn, “Councilmember George Huntington defended Nuaimi’s salary, saying Nuaimi completes major town projects and aggressively seeks funding sources — a more hands-on approach than previous town managers. Huntington characterized Nuaimi as “an individual who isn’t from the same mold as other town managers in this community.” Read Hi-Desert Star story link
Huntington also praised Nuaimi for the work at Hwy 62 and Hwy 247, without mentioning that was a Cal-Trans project. He responded to my statement that Nuaimi always appoints himself to be the lead on every project instead of delegating responsibilities by saying “The architect firm for the JPA Animal shelter was in Rancho Cucamonga and it was a no-brainer to have Nuaimi as lead since he lives in Fontana.”
I pointed out that Mr. Nuaimi signed a binding contract that stated he was not to be compensated for any overtime hours and now he wants to be compensated? “Where is his time clock?” I asked, “And what exactly did he work on?” For 18 months Nuaimi worked on a 30 year 1% sales General Fund tax and even spent Saturdays installing Yes on U signs. Over $199,000 General Fund dollars was spent on Measure U, which failed to pass.
Also, Nuaimi is involved with designing Brehm Park (a private project), working on a joint agreement with Cindy Melland on the golf course project, (also privately owned), changing land use and designing Measure U mailers which Lew Edwards was hired to design.
Is Nuaimi claiming “overtime hours” for his involvement with the Chair of the Measure U Political Action Committee, Town Council Candidate Collins, by working on strategy for the PAC, including standing on the street corner participating in a Pro-Measure U rally on a weekend? All four Council members: Mayor Merl Abel, Councilmen Dawn Rowe, George Huntington and Robert Lombardo endorsed Measure U and personally donated thousands of dollars to the PAC, as did Nuaimi who personally donated $1,000.00. link
Exactly what hours are the citizens getting stuck to compensate this manager? Let me repeat…he signed a binding contract
Margo Sturges Author link