The Star-News


Despite deadline salary commission lags

Sat, Jun 18 2011 12:00 PM Posted By: Allison K. Sampite

Chula Vista citizens who in February were given the task of examining executive pay among city officials failed to meet its 60-day deadline.

At a Feb. 1 City Council meeting, Chula Vista councilman Rudy Ramirez proposed creating an ad hoc executive compensation committee to review the salaries of city executives and determine if they are at an appropriate level for the city.

The council gave its blessing to the four-person task force with the understanding that it would report back within 60 days.

Those chosen to sit on the committee were former Port Commissioner Bill Hall, pastor Richard Smith, retired judge Roy Cazares and retired attorney Eloy Villa.

Since the committee's formation, Hall, in his capacity as chairman, added two more people to the group.

He said that because of scheduling conflicts they had yet to meet.

He also said that in some cases contact information for prospective members was outdated and when he went to their listed addresses, no one was there.

Hall said information has been distributed to the group for review but they have yet to discuss it as a group formally.

Ramirez said establishing the group was important to maintain transparency but some council members are wondering where that transparency is.

"When I approved this, I wanted to have some kind of determination prior to budget time," said councilman Steve Castaneda. "I'm frustrated at the lack of attention to this and I hope something ultimately comes out of it."

Castaneda said that more than enough time was given to the group to divvy out responsibilities and figure out what needs to be done.

City Manager Jim Sandoval said his staff provided the committee with a significant amount of information within a few weeks of it being formed.

"I don't know why it's taken so long," he said. "I don't know what kind of difficulties they ran into - it's out of our hands."

Sandoval said he welcomed the committee's recommendations as long as the group was fair and accurate. He added that looking at other cities is important for a comparison and they should consider adding on a fifth person who works in the public sector.

The committee was scheduled to have a meeting with City Manager Jim Sandoval and city staff June 16.

Hall said the second meeting was to discuss what's been found during research and make plans to meet again before the end of June.


© 2009 The Star-News