Tonight: Menlo Park council could approve major staff raises


The Menlo Park City Council could tonight approve major raises for city employees referred to as "unrepresented management."

There are about 25 authorized full-time positions that fall into this category – six of which are vacant. Staff say the move is intended to adjust the salary ranges to "achieve greater consistency within the management hierarchy" and provide market-based salary adjustments. Moving any employee to a new salary level would not take effect until July and August, when annual merit reviews are conducted, according to the staff report.

The proposed maximum salary increases to the city's salary schedule, based on position, are as follows:

● Administrative Services Director, to $215,426 from $190,066

● Assistant City Manager, to $236,969 from $211,761

● Assistant Community Development Director, to $172,341 from $156,644

● Assistant Community Services Director and Assistant Library Services Director, to $172,341 from $153,321

● Assistant Public Works Director to $172,341, from $166,529

● Assistant to the City Manager to $150,798 from $144,252

● City Clerk, to $150,798 from $144,252

● Community Development Director, to $215,426 from $189,811

● Community Services Director, to $215,426 from $192,408

● Engineering Services Manger/City Engineer to $172,341 from $166,529

● Finance and Budget Manager, to $161,570 from $151,694

● Housing and Economic Development Manager, to $150,798 from $144,252

● Human Resources Manager, to $161,570 from $151,694

● Information Technology Manager to $161,570 from $151,694

● Library Services Director, to $215,426 from $185,115

● Police Chief, to $236,969, from $205,087

● Police Commander, to $215,426 from $184,579

● Public Works Director, to $215,426 from $194,967

● Public Works Superintendent to $161,570 from $147,189; and

● Sustainability Manager, to $150,798 from $144,252.

The starting salary for an information technology supervisor would rise to $94,329 from $89,107. Clearer levels between minimum and maximum salary would also be established for the positions senior management analyst, and executive assistant to the city manager.

Newsrack ordinance

The council is also scheduled to vote on a possible newsrack ordinance, which would dictate where and how boxes carrying newspapers and other publications should appear.

Access the proposed ordinance and staff report here.

The Menlo Park City Council convenes for its regular meeting starting at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at 701 Laurel St., in the Civic Center. Watch the meeting online or access the agenda here.


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10 people like this
Posted by John The Baptist
a resident of another community
on Mar 13, 2018 at 12:57 pm

John The Baptist is a registered user.

The median household income in Menlo Park is around $120,000. Most of those are dual income households.

The Menlo Park City Clerk is to be paid $30,000 more than the income of the median household income in Menlo park. - -● City Clerk, to $150,798 from $144,252

The Assistant City Manager is to be paid almost TWICE as much as the median income of a Menlo Park Household. ● Assistant City Manager, to $236,969 from $211,761

The Assistant to the City Manager, (not to be confused with the Assistant City Manager), is to be paid $30,000 more than is earned by half of the dual income households in Menlo Park● Assistant to the City Manager to $150,798 from $144,252

Welcome to the State of Staffocracy!!

3 people like this
Posted by Lynne Bramlett
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 13, 2018 at 2:41 pm

Lynne Bramlett is a registered user.

Instead of blanket raises, I would like to see a performance based salary plan and more stringent performance evaluations. Let's implement the 360-degree method used in private industry where employees get input from more than just their manager. MP's management level staff should get performance input from those they interface with such as peers, subordinates, and the public in the form of commissioners who work with them on advisory commissions/committees. However, I write here mainly so readers are aware that in addition to a generous annual salary and pension benefits, the management level receives generous benefits. These are detailed on page 4 of the City Clerk recruitment brochure. Web Link
Interestingly, this brochure is no longer at the City's website. Why? (I was also dismayed to discover today that I had to register to even search at the City's website. Why? For my privacy's sake, I don't want my searches monitored.) One can also search under "Menlo Park Management Benefit Plan" to get an overview of the entire compensation package.Web Link

11 people like this
Posted by kenny
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 13, 2018 at 5:05 pm

Development projects pay a significant component of short term staff costs, and provide the reason for them to exist. And yet we are stuck with the long term cost, including potentially draconian pension obligations.

Time out outsource all of this. As a resident I don't feel that my interests are being served by the city government. They have their own agenda, and I don't want to be on the hook for these expenses.

Staff serves big money development interests, city council is negligent at best, self dealing at worst.

City council and development interests are in bed together and don't care if they pay exorbitant salaries for staff as long as things get done. Staff is in a position to make things hard for their patrons, the development interests, so they are paid off to do their "job".

It's a cozy, incestuous situation, our own little swamp.

2 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 13, 2018 at 7:17 pm

Do these raises include benefits too? Or is that an additional amount?

6 people like this
Posted by duck the vote
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 14, 2018 at 12:22 am

Salary raises passed 2-1. Cline and Ohtaki voted yes. Mueller voted no.

Catherine Carlton and Kirsten Keith ducked the vote and were absent. Both are out of town again and were appearing by phone. Curiously they both left the meeting and hung up the phone before the vote was taken.

Like this comment
Posted by forge ahead
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 14, 2018 at 2:00 am

@John_The_Baptist and @Lynne_Bramlett should consider that many of these roles are not filled because former city employees left for other cities for big raises.

@duck_the_vote raises an interesting point. Carlton left the call at midnight her time, before the Facebook conditional development permit vote for which she was recused. Keith left the call at 2am her time, after voting on the newspaper rack ordinance. Mueller proposed putting off the vote, but council decided to forge ahead.

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Posted by Lynne Bramlett
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 14, 2018 at 10:04 am

Lynne Bramlett is a registered user.

Regarding the comment by Forge Ahead, one of my points is the need for full transparency. The additional benefits should have been included in the staff report as they add significantly to the salaries. The other main point is that the public would benefit from MP's incorporation of more stringent performance evaluation such as the 360-degree method. Regarding staff leaving for higher pay elsewhere, I suspect that there is more to this than the residents have been told. Why not publish the results of the employee satisfaction survey and let the public see for him/herself what needs changing in Menlo Park to better retain employees. The apparent secrecy on the topic is troubling. I had to leave the Council meeting before the vote, so did not see the results (or have time yet to watch the discussion). According to "Duck the Vote," the matter passed 2-1. Perhaps salary matters should wait until the full council can vote on the matter.

4 people like this
Posted by Pot Meet Kettle
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Mar 14, 2018 at 2:53 pm

Yet another example of the Fire District leading the way. Haha. (Relax, Peter, it's a joke.)

I understand that we need to compensate our civil servants at certain level to recruit and retain qualified individuals. I hope City officials considered the potential unintended consequence that the salary increases will encourage these individuals to retire earlier, thereby exacerbating the problem they are trying to solve.

The positions listed above are management-level positions, and likely held by individuals who joined CalPERS (either through Menlo Park or another public agency) before 2013, when the pension reform act became law. Because of their status as "classic" CalPERS members, these individuals are eligible to retire sooner, and under a pension benefit formula that is based on their final compensation over a given period of time (general the last year or two of employment). As a result, these individuals are looking at SIGNIFICANT boosts to their "pensionable" compensation.

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

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