At a special meeting on June 20, the Pleasanton City Council unanimously approved employee salary increases for the upcoming fiscal year 2013 of six percent. The salary adjustments will come out of the general fund and utility fund (six percent).
At the nearly two hour meeting, Pleasanton Finance Director Helen Martinez walked the council through the various costs associated with raises ranging from four-eight percent. If council approved a six percent raise, explained Martinez, it would cost the city $237,584.56.
It was also explained that utility fund employees are paid through the income received from the service the city provides out of the water, etc. General fund employees (library, police, etc.) are paid out of the general fund, derived mostly from sales tax and property taxes.
City Manager Bruce Pearson said the most important and relative indicator for the city is the CPI, or Consumer Price Index. He felt that six percent was well-warranted, but noted it was up to the council.
City Councilman J.R. Gallegos said that with the increase of activities in town because of the oil boom, he was sure the city workload has increased in every aspect, in all departments. He added the raise was very deserving and that the employees were very patient when council was not able to give raises.
City Councilwoman Jeanne B. Israel said she was trying to look at the overall cost increase. She wondered if Pearson had a projection of health care costs as well. Pearson projected a 30 percent increase. City Councilman Jimmy Magel agreed that although there is currently a boom, he questioned how long it will last.
Mayor Clinton J. Powell said the city should feel the impact for at least the next 15-20 years. Pearson said he was comfortable with six percent, as the city is projecting to see an increase in sales tax revenue over $1 million in the next year.
Councilmembers unanimously directed City Manager Pearson to design a comprehensive compensation program for the 2013 fiscal year. Also included in the motion is to bring the item back to council in 2013 and implement it in 2014. It will include, but not be limited to:
•Perform a market study to establish job classifications and pay ranges
•Incentive pay for additional education levels beyond job requirements
•Continue with certification pay
The council also unanimously approved increasing the city’s observance of holidays from 10 to 13.
“This may be the most important part of the budgetary process,” began City Manager Pearson. “That is the consideration of our most precious resource– our employees.”
He said the city has lots of tenure and institutional knowledge. The holidays are a time to give respect and spend time with the family. Most nearby cities, said Pearson, observe 13 holidays.
Pearson noted the significance of Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day and Columbus Day. These are the three holidays that have been added to the city’s list of observed holidays.
Members of the council also voted unanimously to instruct City Manager Pearson to meet with Toby Hill regarding the City of Pleasanton life insurance plan, funded by the city and come back for final approval by the council.