Yucca Valley, Ca.-This article was sent to me from one of our readers following the pay increase that Town Manager Mark Nuaimi wrangled out of the inexperienced council members increasing his pay package to over $293,000. This money grab takes place just as cuts to the swim program and summer concerts were announced last week.
Press Enterprise January 19, 2011 by Cassie MacDuff
So it was heartening to see Colton City Manager Rod Foster voluntarily take an 11 percent cut in his salary and benefits this week.
Foster’s pay cut will increase to 17 percent in the coming two fiscal years as he foregoes future raises.
Colton is facing drastic cuts to its services, including police and fire, when its utility tax sunsets June 30.
The tax brings in $5 million a year; that’s a tremendous hit to the city’s $31 million general fund.
You can bet employee unions will be asked to accept compensation cuts when the rubber meets the road later this year. Early proposals have included laying off 16 police officers and nine firefighters.
That’s why Foster’s personal cut sets the right tone.
Foster proposed reducing his base pay by 6 percent, eliminating the city subsidy of his pension (he already paid 4 percent toward his retirement; now he will make the entire 8 percent contribution) and eliminating a $1,800 stipend for home office equipment and $2,500 tuition reimbursement.
The City Council accepted his offer.
Managers in other cities should follow his example. All local governments are facing tough times this year and true leadership means belt-tightening at the top.