IS DOCK TAX PAYING FOR MASSIVE SALARY INCREASES FOR CITY MANAGEMENT?
Three weeks after the city council slammed the commercial marina operators with a 366% tax increase in the middle of a recession, they approved a consultant’s report triggering massive salary increases for upper management. For example, the HR Directors’ salary, who orchestrated the study, will go from $151,000 to $213,000 plus 30% for benefits giving us a $277,000 personnel director. The city manager will see a bump to $367,000, including benefits. And my favorite, Newport’s librarian will take home $262,000, including the customary 30% benefits package all upper management enjoys. That will take some of the stress out of implementing the Dewey Decimal system.
If history is our guide, the city will use the Dock Tax hike to offset these massive salary hikes by creating an overhead “surcharge” on the Tidelands Fund.
Here’s the rub.
It’s the same process they’ve used to drive up our unfunded pension liability to the highest per capita of any city in Orange County. Hire a friendly consultant to do a study. In this case they used Fox Lawson, a firm hand-picked by the HR person that was making $151,000 five years ago when she left the city of Costa Mesa for greener pastures in Newport Beach. Click here to read the staff report.