The City Council undertook several significant actions at our November 19, 2012 meeting:
1) We approved a contract to redesign San Leandro Boulevard near the downtown BART station to improve the appearance of the street and make it more bike and pedestrian friendly;
2) We adopted resolutions to refinance outstanding city debt to take advantage of favorable interest rates and thereby reduce the city's annual interest payments on this debt and save money;
3) We moved forward with an ordinance setting up a Community Benefits district in the downtown area to improve the appearance, cleanliness and safety of our downtown; and
4) On a 5 to 2 vote (Council members Prola and Cutter dissenting), we authorized the City Manager to sign new, five year contracts with the Police Chief and Assistant City Manager.
In return for their service and five year commitments, the Police Chief and Assistant City Manager will each receive a $10,000 increase in their base salary effective January 1, 2013, bringing their annually salaries each to $187,000. The cost of these raises to the city budget will be offset by the City Manager taking a $20,000 annual pay reduction for the remaining two years of his contract.
In addition to the increase in their base pay, the agreements provide the Police Chief and Assistant City Manager a 3.5% net pay raise. By the conclusion of the five year contracts, the Police Chief and Assistant City manager will each pay the full share of their employee contribution to CalPERs for retirement benefits. Currently, the Mayor and City Council along with the City Manager are the members of City that pay the full amount of the employee share of retirement costs.
Under the new contracts our Police Chief and Assistant City Manager will be neither at the top nor at the bottom of salaries for their respective positions in Alameda County. We have had three different Police Chiefs over the last five years. This instability was detrimental to the police department and the community.
Our Police Chief has implemented a number of reforms and initiatives to improve the operations, training and professionalism of the department and undertaken programs and efforts to expand community outreach and youth involvement.
Our Assistant City Manager is also a talented executive. She provided outstanding service as our acting City Manager for seven months following the retirement of the former City Manager, and plays an integral role in overseeing the budget and multiple city departments.
Retaining both employees for the next five years will be of substantial benefit to the well-being and safety of our community.