Town Square

Atherton city manager pay talks go private

Original post made on Jan 17, 2013

Should the new city manager's salary be increased now that he's decided not to live in the town-owned house that was to be part of his compensation? That's the question two Atherton City Council members will discuss with George Rodericks in private after the council delayed making a decision on the matter at last night's meeting.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, January 17, 2013, 11:13 AM


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Posted by A contract should stand
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jan 17, 2013 at 7:17 pm

It is absurd that Atherton would change its contract after the fact and give the City Manager a higher salary. It was part of the job description that he would live in the house in Atherton for more than monetary reasons. It would be disgraceful and illegal to change now. The council members who disagree are looking for an easy way out at taxpayers' expense. A Manager who lives in Marin County is way out-of-touch with Atherton. Let's get a better candidate and dump this guy!

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Posted by Lewis' view
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jan 17, 2013 at 10:30 pm

$60,000 raise after two months on the job. Good going, Liz Lewis.

In a phone interview Thursday, Lewis said she thought Rodericks should get an additional $60,000 since he won't be living in the house.

"I don't see it as a financial hardship to the town to pay the city manager his fair compensation," Lewis said.

Her asst. Cary Wiest agrees.

Newly elected Council Member Cary Wiest said increasing Rodericks' compensation should be considered because "circumstances do change" and recruiting another city manager would be costly.

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Posted by hold your nose
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jan 18, 2013 at 8:06 am

Looking at the video of last nights discussion on this matter (including remarks by Kathy McKeithen who was on committee to negotiate Mr Rodericks compensation) it is pretty clear he accepted moving into the managers house in the Park as part of his contract. There was a small travel allowance which expires in June. So it is clear that Rodericks and some members of the Council want to abrogate that compensation agreement and to do it in closed session.
This is completely wrong and if Mr Rodericks does not like what he accepted he should leave. The Council spent a whole year spending well over $10,000 to hire a law firm and consultants to mandate a new contract for the ten unrepresented employees. Ultimately, the saving to the town in pension contributions is $96,000 a year for this group. Now they are considering giving $30,000 more per year to Mr Rodericks so he can commute to Atherton and in addition maintain an empty house.
This just does not make sense in light of the frugality preached by Mr Dobbie. The new Council is starting off making a really bad financial decision in the face of morale bruising demand on the employees. Hold your nose.

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Posted by videofan
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jan 18, 2013 at 8:54 pm

So heres how it worked. City manager job advertised, council not pleased with applications. Salary raised to $220k and the applicants get more interesting. The town makes their picks and to save some bucks tells him the house is worth $60k per year leaving his pay at $160k. Of course he'll want to live in the park in Atherton, wouldnt anyone? Wrong. They have been paying him an additional $2.5k per month, which the math says is $30k per year, for travel expenses, which is a heck of a lot of gas in a honda. That would make his current anual salary with travel $190k.

ive heard it said its ilegal to require a city employee to live in the city of employment. Next headline: another lawsuit against atherton. Pay the guy. WMD got outsmarted on this on, as has been the norm the past year. Not a big deal, just swallow hard and move on.

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Posted by cough it up
a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Jan 19, 2013 at 7:28 am

Videofan, what evidence can you offer that the salary was ever set at $220K? That's being fiercely denied by the two council members who negotiated the contract. Cough up the evidence if it exists. If it doesn't and your only intent is to continue the pathetic "WMD" assaults, show some responsibility. This is serious business, but no one will take you seriously if you make such statements with no evidence.

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Posted by Get smart
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 19, 2013 at 8:15 am

Why would Lizzy think that she and Jerry should sort this out. Good business practices say the original participants should be involved. The City Manager played up to the Mayor's ego and she took the bait.

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Posted by videofan
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jan 19, 2013 at 10:50 am

So were does it say the 2.5k is for travel as Widmer and McKeithen claimed on Wednesday night?

Web Link

It was always meant to be salary, which would be given up upon the move into the "palace" or "mansion" or whatever they are calling the house.

Where does the job description say "will live in Atherton Park"?
Web Link

Pay the man and MOVE ON, always such a problem in this town.

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Posted by Olive
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jan 19, 2013 at 11:30 am

I love how the national press has picked up on this story and claimed the City Manager doesn't want to live in the Town's "mansion". They make it sound like the New York Mayor's "Gracie Mansion".

This house sits at the corner of a public park. Who would want to live next to a public parking lot? It's busy when the park's open. And, it could be dangerous after dark. It's not like they lock the park up at night.

The mansion is not a typical $6 million Atherton parcel. The Town may have thrown some money at it a few years ago, but it's not the deal WMD made it out to be.

But, wait. There's more!

THEN, after he signed the agreement, WMD pulled the rug out from under him by enacting a series of unadvertised compensation reductions. Talk about "bait and switch". Where are the ethics?(rhetorical question)

I don't blame the City Manager for taking a run at the extra compensation. The fact is, he probably found the job to be a LOT different than what he was told. He found the "mansion" to be way over valued by his suitors.