Menlo Park: New role, higher salary for assistant city manager

City Council meets tonight to consider salary change

In part to make it easier to recruit a new assistant city manager, Menlo Park City Manager Alex McIntyre is asking the Menlo Park City Council to increase the maximum salary for the job by 5.5 percent, from $189,216 a year to $199,623.

In addition, Mr. McIntyre is changing the duties of the assistant city manager to oversee the public works and community development departments, which have many large development projects on their plates. The assistant city manager formerly managed the administrative services departments and special projects.

To take on the management of the administrative services departments (finance, human resources and information technology), Mr. McIntrye is changing the title of the finance director job to the administrative services director, with no proposed change in the salary range for the job.

The council will consider the salary change for the assistant city manager position when it meets Tuesday night, Sept. 8.

The council meets first in a closed session at 6 p.m. in the City Hall Administration Building first floor conference room to confer with labor negotiators before going into a short public session to vote on whether to approve the request. The public session will start at 7 p.m., or as soon as the closed session is dismissed, in the City Council Chambers at 701 Laurel St.

Mr. McIntyre recently hired former Portola Valley Town Manger Nick Pegueros to fill the administrative services director position on an interim basis. Mr. Pegueros' "involuntary resignation" from his Portola Valley post was announced Aug. 12.

Mr. McIntrye said the recruitment of an assistant city manager "is likely to be highly competitive," especially because nearby cities, including Sunnyvale and Mountain View, are trying to fill the same position and offering maximum salaries of $219,938 in Sunnyvale and $205,619 in Mountain View as well as "more generous fringe benefit packages ... particularly in the area of retirement."

The city manager's report says the increased salary will "not impact City resources," and that the time spent by the assistant city manager on private development projects will be charged to the developers, not the city's general fund.

The city has lost four managers since July. On Aug. 27, Mr. McIntyre announced Human Resources Director Gina Donnelly is leaving her position for a new job in Monterey. Public Works Director Jesse Quirion left the city Aug. 20 for a job with Google in Tennessee, while Assistant City Manager Starla Jerome-Robinson retired on July 31. Finance Director Drew Corbett left Aug. 14 to work for the city of San Mateo.

When he announced Ms. Donnelly's departure, Mr. McIntyre also made a number of interim management changes. Police Commander Dave Bertini was named interim human resources director, with retired Menlo Park Police Commander Terri Molakides temporarily filling in for Commander Bertini. Ann Stillman, San Mateo County's deputy director of public works, will work three-quarters time for Menlo Park as interim public works director until a permanent replacement for Mr. Quirion can be found. Clay Curtin, Mr. McIntyre's assistant to the city manager, was named interim finance director.

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