While We Were Sleeping

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.    

Shrouded is government-speak that would make George Orwell grin, here is the key language that triggers a massive salary hike & pension spike for Newport’s key bureaucrats (you can’t make this stuff up).

RECOMMENDATION:

Review the results of Fox Lawson & Associates (FLA) classification and compensation
study and adopt Executive Compensation Plan ranges at either the FLA recommended
percentile (50% or 60 %) with or without an accompanying merit -based incentive
program for the specified 14 positions. This action will not result in any change in costs
at this time, but rather, would grant the authority to the Council or City Manager 
(depending upon the supervisory chain of command) to adjust compensation at the 
appropriate date via the appropriate mechanism (one -time bonus, etc) if earned on the 
basis of merit.

Translation:  Management gets to approve their own salary increase without city council approval.  Only in Newport Beach does the city manager gets to approve his own bonus + authorize massive bonuses to 14 top managers at the city.

People are appalled when we compare this with the bankrupt city of San Bernardino.  Public employees funded a charter amendment that required compensation for employees be in the top 10% of comparable cities.  The rest is history.  They’re broke.

Newport Beach has a $263 million budget — $70% goes to salaries, benefits, and pension payments.  After just five years on the job, city employees qualify for lifetime health insurance – paid for by you.

Will they use the Dock Tax to fund this slick scheme?

City of Newport Beach Executive Management Salary Ranges (market 50th percentile)

Source: November 13, 2012 Staff Report, Item 15

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Add 30% for benefits to the red column to calculate total compensation 

The same big tax and spenders that levied the Dock Tax voted for this sheme:

VOTING YES ON THE SALARY & PENSION SPIKE & DOCK TAX

Council Member Hill

Council Member Rosansky

Mayor Pro Tern Curry

Mayor Gardner

Council Member Henn

VOTING YES ON THE SALARY & PENSION SPIKE – ABSTAINED ON DOCK TAX

Councilman Ed Selich

VOTING NO ON THE SALARY $ PENSION SPIKE & DOCK TAX

Council Member Daigle 

There is hope to stop these ridiculous salary and pension spikes.  The money is not in this year’s budget.  If they plan to secretly use the Dock Tax by asserting an administrative overlay, it will have to be done in the 2014 budget.
Sincerely,

 

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Bob McCaffreyChairman,
Stop The Dock Tax
www.stopthedocktax.com Please check with our web site for the lastest information

We have a hearing this Friday on our Temporary Restraining Order for an injunction to stop the city from collecting the Dock Tax on the utility bill.  You can safely donate on line here to help continue our campaign to Stop the Dock Tax.

YARD SIGNS ARE AVAILABLE

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Call to arrange a time to pick up your Stop The Dock Tax sign.

Bob McCaffrey

1410 South Bay Front

Balboa Island

949.675.8835

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