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Proposed Raises Push Many Santa Monica Employees Well into Six-Figure Salaries
Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
Roque & Mark Real Estate
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Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Niki Cervantes
Staff Writer

June 14, 2016 -- From the head of Santa Monica’s cemetery to its bike-share coordinator, librarians, civil engineers and lifeguards, many Santa Monica City employees could get raises that would make six-figure salaries the norm for many workers.

The City Council Tuesday is due to give the nod to raises for hundreds of employees from five different bargaining units that include 1.5 percent cost-of-living adjustments starting next month, and in several cases, lump sum “signing bonuses” ranging from $440 to $728 each.

Total cost of the changes is approximately $1,928,300 for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, and was already anticipated and budgeted as part of the City’s five-year financial forecast, according to a report to the City Council by Donna Peter, head of the Human Resources Department.

Some represented in the pacts are considered high-tier executives with the City. Topping the list is the $339,384-a-year salary for City Manager Rick Cole, hired last June at $329,424 annually.

Not far behind is annual pay for the Assistant City Manager, Elaine Polachek, which reaches $303,168 at the top of a five-step scale common in the agreements.

The position of Chief Information Officer, formerly held by Jory Wolf, rises to between $182,556 and $225,384 and the job of Assistant to the City Manager, currently held by Matthew Mornick, is pegged at an annual salary of between $117,852 and $145,500.

In the City's new Office of Communications, five of the ten positions have salaries starting at more than $100,000. The salary for the department's head, Debbie Lee, ranges from $136,836 to $168,936, while the Administrative Services Officer salary ranges from $112,008 to $138,276.

The salary range for Public Information Officer, Senior Marketing Manager and Cable TV Manager are $101,316 to $125,088, while the salary for Web Developer ranges from $95,964 to $118,476 and for the Public Information Coordinator from $96,084 to $118,620. Three assistants make between $45,816 and $62,640.

The post of City Attorney, currently held by Marsha Moutrie, would pay $312,299 a year at the top of a five-step scale. Attorneys in her office would earn from $254,948 to $312,288 annually.

Members of the Administrative Team Associates also receive cost of living raises putting many of them in the six figures. The bike-share coordinator, for instance, starts earning from a low of $90,360 to a high of $105,972; the Cemetery Administrator from $93,867 to $115,896; and the Beach House Venue Manager from $99,396 to $112,712.

The City’s Cable TV Manager slot would pay from $101,316 to $125,088; the Custodial Services Administrator from $96,444 to $119,064; and the Deputy Director of Special Projects from $127,296 to $157,152.

City librarians, meanwhile, fetch from $65,293 to $105,420 and the position of Farmers Market Coordinator II would be paid from $74,724 to $92,256.

Traffic Service Officers would make as much as $65,340 a year, while a Senior Pool Lifeguard would make as much as $56,196 as part of the Memorandums of Understandings (MOU) with the Municipal Employees Association.

A bigger paycheck goes to the Senior Public Work Inspector, who would earn as much as $90,084, and the Sustainability Outreach Inspector as much as $95,484 a year.

Included in the one-year MOUs are Administrative Team Associates (ATA), the Municipal Employees Association (MEA) and the Public Attorneys Union (PAU). The Council is also asked at its Tuesday meeting to approve revising the Executive Pay Plan and the new salary agreement with Confidential Unrepresented Employees (CUE).

The MOU's with ATA, MEA, and PAU expire June 30, 2016 and the replacements take effect July 1.

Santa Monica has about 2,200 full-time employees.

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