Menlo Park council approves salary increase for assistant city manager position

Council praises city manager for creativity and innovation

Praising City Manager Alex McIntyre for creativity and innovation in changing the duties of the assistant city manager, the Menlo Park City Council on Sept. 8 unanimously voted to increase the salary for the vacant position.

Council member Rich Cline was absent from the meeting.

Mr. McIntyre had asked the council to approve amending the city's salary schedule to increase the maximum salary for the assistant city manager position by 5.5 percent, from $189,216 a year to $199,623.

The council members not only approved the increased compensation, but had high praise for the changes Mr. McIntyre has made in the job description. He said the new assistant city manager will oversee public works and community development. The previous assistant city manager, Starla Jerome-Robinson, who retired on July 31, managed administrative services and special projects.

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

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.

The city has lost four top managers since July and Mr. McIntrye said he is "seizing the opportunity during these vacancies to do some reorganizing." The new assistant manager will "oversee some of the council's key goals for the next couple of years, dealing with development and capital projects," he said.

Councilman Ray Mueller was supportive. "I wanted to thank you for being innovative and refashioning the position," he said, adding that the change addresses issues that are "really vital right now at this juncture and this point in our city's history.

Increasing the salary for the assistant city manager should help "Mr. McIntyre to find the best candidate possible ... to plan innovative and effective solutions to address the traffic issues within our city's borders, which I believe is imperative to protect our residents' quality of life," Mr. Mueller said.

Council members said they also liked the fact that with the change in responsibilities, developers will be asked to pay for the time the assistant city manager spends on their projects. "It's fair to assume that any increase here will be offset by developer charges," Mr. McIntyre said.

Mayor Catherine Carlton was also supportive. "I want to thank you for your creativity and making sure we've align staff job specifications with our needs," she said.

In his staff report to the council, 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. A maximum salaries of $219,938 is being offered in Sunnyvale and $205,619 in Mountain View, as well as "more generous fringe benefit packages ... particularly in the area of retirement," he said.

Top managers depart

In addition to the retirement of the assistant city manager, three other top managers have left. Mr. McIntyre announced Aug. 27 that 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 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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1 person likes this
Posted by bike rider
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 9, 2015 at 2:18 pm

maybe with his increased salary--he can pay to remove the "stupid idea" of the blockage of Alma street off of Ravenswood. that is a move that just makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. let's see, funnel all of the traffic going east on Ravenswood into a one lane over-crowded street, add more traffic and let's see if that helps the crossing the railroad tracks issue. this makes absolutely no sense--whoever had that idea should be fired and whoever went along with it, should be fired. PLEASE REMOVE THAT BLOCKADE IMMEDIATELY!!!

3 people like this
Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 9, 2015 at 2:50 pm

Boo! Hiss! We still don't know why he was hired by MP when either his performance or behavior in PV got him dismissed.

4 people like this
Posted by Read the article
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 9, 2015 at 3:15 pm

Last night's action by the Council didn't involve Nick Pegeuros at all. He is employed as the temporary administrative services director. The Assistant City Manager position, which recieved the pay bump, is vacant.

2 people like this
Posted by But wait, there's more....
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 10, 2015 at 4:26 am

This change enables adding two sub positions to that.

It's merely a shell game. The council was asleep.

5 people like this
Posted by Truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 10, 2015 at 6:56 am

To level the charge the staff has created two new positions without disclosing it to the City Council in the staff report is basically to make a criminal allegation. There is is no indication in the staff report two new full time positions are being created. In fact, quite the opposite is true.

The staff report can be found here:

Web Link

The Staff Report states:

"The assignment of the Assistant City Manager to focus on public works and community development
creates the need for management of the administrative services departments: finance, human resources,
and information technology. To provide for this need, the reorganization of the Executive Team will
upgrade the Finance Director title to Administrative Services Director. This upgrade is in title only and will
have no impact on the previously approved salary range for Finance Director. "

The salary schedule clearly shows in RED the change of the title of Finance Director to Administrative Services Director, and the change in salary of Assistant City Manager. It does not indicate in RED the creation of any new full time employees, nor does the Staff Report indicate the creation of any new full time employees.

@ButWaitThere'sMore..., what proof do you have the City Council was misled by this staff report?
Please post citation and quotes.

It's remarkable you found something that the City Attorney, our City Council (2 attorneys, 2 MBA's- with a graduate from Harvard), the Daily Post, the Almanac, and the San Jose Mercury News... all missed.

Again, to level the charge the staff has created two new positions without disclosing it to the City Council specifically in the staff report is basically to make a criminal allegation, which if untrue, is reckless.
If you misread the staff report, you might want to apologize.

2 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 10, 2015 at 7:32 am

The question remains, why are top level city administrators leaving under the direction of Mr. McIntyre?

Like this comment
Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 10, 2015 at 7:58 am

SteveC is a registered user.

People can't read and understand what was written. The same old bull from the same people who can't move beyond what has been discussed and discussed in previous articles in previous editions of the Almanac.

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

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