News

Tonight: Pay raises for police commanders?

Council to vote on whether to increase salaries up to $13,956

Right on the heels of the police sergeants union agreeing to a two-year pay freeze, the two police commanders of Menlo Park could see a pay raise of up to $13,956 -- if the City Council approves it on Tuesday.

According to the staff report, since a commander makes less than a sergeant but has more responsibility, the jump from $128,035-$160,044 to $139,200-$174,000 is necessary.

Not so fast, said pension reform advocate and planning commissioner Henry Riggs. "Seriously, enabling raises in 2011?" he said.

Police and firefighter salaries remain a hot topic of debate in the wake of November's passage of Measure L, the city's pension reform initiative, which didn't include public safety employees. City Manager Glen Rojas was not immediately available for comment.

"Pay decreases and a plentiful supply of qualified candidates are now the norm. Police in San Jose and other jurisdictions in the Bay Area are REDUCING compensation in the range of Ten Percent. Why is Menlo Park staff ignoring this reality?" wrote Ned Moritz, also a key figure behind Measure L's success, in a letter to The Almanac.

Both Mr. Riggs and Mr. Moritz questioned why the raises were tucked into the agenda under a budgetary item rather than labor negotiations.

The City Council meeting starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, in council chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 13, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Giving the raises would be a mistake.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 13, 2011 at 7:17 pm

These raises should not be buried in a budget item and should be publicized well in advance.

This is exactly why the Fire Board posts such proposed changes for 15 days BEFORE the Board is allowed to vote on them.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 13, 2011 at 8:55 pm

These commanders don't deserve a raise. The economy deffinately doesn't support it. If the council is worried they'll leave without the raies, where are they going to go? Sorry, it's tough times for all of us, including law enforcement.


Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 13, 2011 at 9:35 pm

I don't know whether they "deserve" a raise or not... but if the Menlo Park public has nothing to say about it, then they would be "well deserved."


Like this comment
Posted by Doesn't make cents...
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2011 at 9:46 pm

"Controlling labor costs –The City Manager’s Proposed Budget for 2011-12 relies on cost savings from concessions from all City labor groups, including those already negotiated and those anticipated to be approved very early in the fiscal year."

Well... this is true statement except for ONE Police Commander.


Like this comment
Posted by If it quacks like a duck!
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 13, 2011 at 10:03 pm

So it's okay to take money away from the front line people, like the officers and sergeants, but then you turn around and give it to administrator? Can you say robbing Peter to pay Paul! Hmmmm I smell something fishy here.


Like this comment
Posted by Arch Conservative
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 14, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Something is rotten in the state of Menlo Park.
Tell me- you are really kidding, aren't you? What have they done to "deserve" a raise, when no one else has?
If they can find a higher paying and less stressful job in another city- the door is right there.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 14, 2011 at 12:45 pm

These kind of tricks will happen again and again until you the citizens demand a fundamental change in policy.

Here is the Fire Board's Policy:

RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE MENLO PARK FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT ADOPTING A POLICY REGARDING DISTRIBUTION
OF PROPOSED COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS


WHEREAS, in accordance with the policy of promoting prompt public access to government records, the California Public Records Act broadly defines public records (Gov. Code Section 6252, subdivision (3)) and the exceptions to disclosing public records under the California Public Records Act are narrow; and

WHEREAS, the Ralph M. Brown Act, Government Code Sections 54950 through 54963, enacted into law in 1953, requires open meetings of local agencies “to curb misuse of the democratic process by secret legislation of public bodies”; and

WHEREAS, the Ralph M. Brown Act “…reflects a legislative determination that ‘public agencies in this State exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business,’ and an intent ‘that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly’ (Gov. Code Section 54950); and

WHEREAS, the Ralph M. Brown Act and the California Public Records Act require the District to conduct its business in a transparent manner; and

WHEREAS, the Board, as duly elected representatives of the citizens within the District, in conformance with the Ralph M. Brown Act and the California Public Records Act, is committed to providing the District’s citizens with information considered by the Board in making its decisions; and

WHEREAS, the Board believes due to the importance of proposed collective bargaining agreements with the District employee labor representatives, that these proposed agreements should be made available to the citizens of the District in sufficient time prior to the Board’s adoption of the proposed agreements so as to allow for adequate review and comment by the public prior to final Board action.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Directors of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District does hereby move that any proposed collectively bargained labor agreement between the District and designated District employee representatives shall be made publicly available at least fifteen (15) calendar days before the meeting at which the agreement will be acted on by the Board.

PASSED AND ADOPTED as a resolution of the Board of Directors of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District at the Regular Meeting held on the 16th day of December 2008


Like this comment
Posted by Ethel
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Pretty sleazy of the City Mis-Manager and staff to slip this in.

Wake up, council!


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 14, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Ethel says:"Wake up, council!"

No - Wake up, citizens !


Like this comment
Posted by Henry Riggs
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jun 14, 2011 at 1:27 pm

This is not about the quality of our PD which in many cases is very high. That includes at least one commander who led the joint raids on the EPA Taliban last Fall, among other talents. The issue is that there is not enough money in the pot and its unfair (and unlikely) to ask residents who are suffering themselves to prop up an unsustainable pay and pension program. You can't give a $200 allowance to your own kids if you don't have it, no matter how good they are.

The current budget discussions seek to "balance" the 2011-2012 budget that is not fully providing the core services that we expect our city to provide: Library, Roads maintenance, Parks maintenance, and other key items that for years have been "deferred". It's not as if we are only a few tens of thousands short, we are MILLIONS short of full services. We need to get the expenses down or we will be stuck as a second class town.


Like this comment
Posted by Where's my raise?
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm


Why change anything?

If the Police Sergeants just agreed to a pay cut of almost $12,000 net pay per year each and the police officers are expected to do the same losing about $9,000 per year each, how can a raise for any employee be justified?

It seems the pay amount the Commanders are asking as increase would be equal to the amount they would give back under the same formula to bring them to where they are now.

The City Council has stated, Menlo Park cannot compete with the surrounding cities. So, any "market" rationale has already been dismissed. Asking for give backs from subordinates then turning around giving their managers raises is always a bad practice.

I suppose other city management are to receive raises in the same budget item?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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