Encinitas approves 20 percent raise for city manager
Newbie city manager Phil Cotton received a whopping 20% raise last night.
20%, whew! That is a fat raise! Especially for a guy who has only been on the job for six months.
He's done a good job so far. But let's face it, how hard was it to "save" the city money by simply not following former city manager's shell game of a budget?
Mayor Bond and Jerome Stocks pushed for the 20% raise citing the pay scale for neighboring cities. Oops, those cities are twice as large as Encinitas.
Phil Cotton now makes $198,723 with a full pension. He will be living the good life as he already has a pension coming to him from his honorable military career.
I wasn't against Cotton getting a raise, but 10% would have been reasonable, generous even after 6 months on the job.
Houlihan and Barth praised Cotton but complained that the subcommittee of Mayor James Bond and Deputy Mayor Jerome Stocks presented inadequate information to justify such a hefty raise.
Stocks defended the amount, saying his recommendation complied with a council policy that sets employee salaries at the midrange of those among similarly sized cities.
Houlihan said she received no comparative analysis until Monday, and that the full City Council never had agreed upon a pay range within which the subcommittee would negotiate.
Barth noted that the analysis itself was flawed because it compared Encinitas to cities such as Carlsbad and Escondido, which are twice as big.
Beyond that, she said, the 20 percent raise would be difficult to explain to other employees.
"I don't want to be put in that position to explain to the rank and file why they should only get 3 percent," Barth said.
This should make you happy, Leucadia improvements will start this year:
In other business Wednesday, the council awarded a $2 million construction contract to 3D Enterprises to improve Leucadia Boulevard between Vulcan and Hermes avenues. The project includes roundabouts at Hermes and Hymettus avenues.
Landscaped medians and meandering walkways would provide safe havens for pedestrians who today must cross a boulevard that is up to 50 feet wide.
In addition to the Hermes and Hymettus roundabouts, the first phase of the Leucadia job would include curbs, gutters, sidewalks, streetlights and bike lanes on both sides of the boulevard from Vulcan to Hermes; the construction of left-turn lanes on northbound and southbound Vulcan Avenue; and an asphalt pathway on the north side of Leucadia Boulevard from Hermes to Interstate 5.
The pathway would be replaced with concrete sidewalks during a second phase of construction.
The second phase, which is not yet budgeted, would add a third roundabout at Hygeia, where today there is a four-way stop sign. It also would add sidewalks to both sides of the boulevard all the way to the freeway and would include landscaping on the sides and on a median for the busy road.
Blair Knoll, a city engineer, told the council he expects the six-month job to begin in June.