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Group will review salaries Allison K. Sampite | Sat, Feb 05 2011 12:00 PM

The Chula Vista City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the creation of a committee to review whether executive compensation is at an appropriate level for the city.

Deputy Mayor Rudy Ramirez said the idea is to form a committee of people who are well known, respected and have stayed out of the political view.

"It's important to accomplish this as a matter of transparency," he said.

Ramirez suggested four people with backgrounds in law, religion, business and the Port Commission.

The individuals named are former Port Commissioner Bill Hall, pastor Richard Smith, retired judge Roy Cazares and retired attorney Eloy Villa.

"I wanted to make sure that I was sensitive to everyone's needs," Ramirez said.

Councilman Steve Castaneda said he wanted to be assured the process will not be drawn out.

"I want to know that this committee is charged with a specific scope of work," he said.

Castaneda also said that a lot more than executive compensation needs to be looked at. "We need to have a very robust conversation on these matters and others," he said.

Councilwoman Patricia Aguilar agreed with Castaneda to be very clear with what the committee's mission is. She also said there should be a firm deadline for the report.

"One of the things I get told all the time in the community is that everyone's compensation at the city is too high," Aguilar said. "I don't see that here but I don't have any information to show them that's comparable in other cities."

Sandoval said he was not opposed to recommendations and that looking at other cities is important for a comparison. Sandoval also suggested adding on a fifth person who works in the public sector.

"I enter into this with some degree of trepidation," Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox said.

"It needs to be balanced. Getting a former city manger involved is important."

The City Council-created committee will act as an advisory group to the City Council and was given a target date of 60 days to return with a report.


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