As the city creates criteria for the new city manager, I hope careful focus will be made to what is appropriate compensation. There was a big problem with the city paying Ron Gould $484,000 in salary and benefits. It gave him zero ability to ask city unions to be reasonable with their salary and benefit demands.

Currently we face a giant problem. The city’s budget, which is already three times the size of comparable California cities, is unable to keep with city’s future pension obligation to city staff. No city can afford to provide average salary and benefits that are more than double the average salary and benefits of its residents. In order to meet the need for out of control city revenue, there is tremendous pressure on City Council to approve developments that are completely out of scale with neighborhoods, and harm our quality of life.

No employee of a city of 90,000 should be making salary and benefits that exceed $250,000 a year. If the new city manager sets the standard for reasonable compensation, he or she would have the ability to be credible when talking to the city employee unions about salary and benefits need to be in the ball park of what similar jobs pay in the private sector.

Jeff Segal
Santa Monica

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