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Monday, 13 October 2014 06:51

Council to Consider City Manager/Attorney Multi-Year Deals Worth $1.5 Million Before Election

Written by  Janie Costa
Council to Consider City Manager/Attorney Multi-Year Deals Worth $1.5 Million Before Election Turlock City Council will consider renewing the contracts of City Manager Roy Wasden (Left) and City Attorney Phaedra Norton (Right) on Tuesday.
The Turlock City Council is set to meet Tuesday, Oct. 14 to discuss and vote on renewing employment contracts for City Manager Roy Wasden and City Attorney Phaedra Norton as put forward on the agenda by Mayor John Lazar.

Staff’s recommendation, according to the staff report, is approving employment contracts between the City and Norton for the period between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2019, and a contract between the City and Wasden for the period between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2017.

The goal, according to the City, is to “create an ‘efficient’ yet effective City government organization.”

Wasden’s pay, per the contract, would be a “step 2 salary” which, monthly is $17,702, for an annual total of $212,424. At the end of each fiscal year, Wasden’s performance would be evaluated and he would be given a step increase if his work during the year is found “satisfactory.” Step 3 and 4 of the City Manager’s salary are $18,586 and $19,516, respectively.

Norton’s pay, per the contract is a “step 3 salary” which, monthly is $14,008, for an annual total of $168,096. Upon yearly evaluations, both have the potential to receive raises. Norton would also receive step increases based on satisfactory evaluations, up to two step increases.

Both also receive cost of living expense and a vehicle allowance, amongst other benefits. Wasden and Norton’s proposed pays are the highest among all City employees.

Irrespective of who wins the Mayoral and Council seats this November, the contracts for both the City Attorney and Manager would stand through their specified time frames should they be approved. A majority vote by City Council, though, may be taken for any reason at any time, to terminate these contracts, but the City would be obligated to pay the individuals 12 months of severance pay in addition to sick leave, paid vacations and holidays, as well as benefits.

With the election less than a month away, some candidates weighed in on the proposed contract renewal and believe that Council should hold off on the decision. Following the November election, Turlock will see a new Mayor and the possibly two new councilmembers.

"I commend Turlock's current managers for their hard work and dedication, but this is not an issue about their performance,” said Mayoral candidate Gary Soiseth. “As a candidate for mayor, I simply don't think it would be prudent for the current leadership at City Hall to needlessly bind the future council with long-term management contracts. Regardless of who is Turlock's next mayor, it is only fair that this mayor is given the opportunity to help decide who will best execute his vision for our city. It's simply the right thing to do."

Council candidates agreed that the Council should hold off until after the election is held.

“It was already a hot topic about the current council possibly renewing the contracts of our City Attorney and City Manager before the potential new council members and mayor were sworn in,” said Council candidate Sergio Alvarado. “With the new serious ethical issues coming to light, and considering both the City Attorney and City Manager can be held liable for this huge mistake, I would consider it very dishonorable for the current council to proceed with the vote to continue their services to the City of Turlock. I would think the honorable thing to do would be to extend their services on a month-to-month basis until after the new council is sworn in, then let the new council decide the action they want to take.”

Alvarado’s concerns come from an insert supporting Measure B — the half-cent sales tax increase that is intended to benefit Turlock roads — that was approved by Wasden before they were sent out.

Council candidate Matthew Jacob shared a similar sentiment.

“There is a fundamental issue of accountability that seems to be overlooked,” said Jacob. “With just weeks before November 4th such decisions should be tabled to our new Mayor and Council.”

The role of the City Manager is to bring experience, assist and serve the Council and community. Of particular importance, the City Manager has the responsibility of preparing a budget for the Council’s consideration. Additionally, the manager recruits, hires, and oversees City government staff. Currently, Wasden is responsible for 352 full-time City employees.

It is the duty of the City Manager to serve as the Council's chief adviser and ensure that policies are carried out and to provide complete and objective information, pros and cons of alternatives, and long-term effects of actions the City may take.

The City Attorney has the responsibility of advising City Council and the certain City departments regarding its constitutional and statutory structure, and to ensure that procedures set forth are followed. Any litigation brought forward questioning the lawfulness of actions taken by the City is handled or supervised by the City Attorney.

The City Attorney is responsible for prosecuting violations of the Turlock Municipal Code which includes ordinances relating to animal control, nuisance abatement, and some business activity licenses.

As a member of the Executive Team, the City Attorney works with the City Manager and City department directors, all of whom are expected to implement City policy as governed by Council.

Turlock City Council will meet Tuesday at 6:00 p.m at City Hall, 156 South Broadway, Turlock, in the Yosemite Room.

 

Comments (16)

  1. BS

This is such BS these two just broke the law by sending road tax campaign in my TID bill! They should be fired not getting a raise!

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  1. City utility bill

I think you meant the Yes on Meausre B mail inserts in the City of Turlock utility bill.

The city manager and city attorney could be held accountable financially and should get fired but it won't matter if they fooled all the voters they lied...

I think you meant the Yes on Meausre B mail inserts in the City of Turlock utility bill.

The city manager and city attorney could be held accountable financially and should get fired but it won't matter if they fooled all the voters they lied to already.

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Their contracts contain cost of living and vehicle allowances ????
The outrageous salaries are not enough to cover their personal expenses?
Why don't you add a Maui vacation for the both of them also Mayor Lazar.
Vote no on Measure B!

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  1. guest

Can anybody tell me what law was actually broken on the mailer?

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  1. Lazar

This is Mayor John Lazar being spiteful because his friend Curt Andre told him he has to step down and he was going to stop Turlock from going down hill any further. He regrets Gary Soiseth being the next mayor and Curt Andre behind him with Matt...

This is Mayor John Lazar being spiteful because his friend Curt Andre told him he has to step down and he was going to stop Turlock from going down hill any further. He regrets Gary Soiseth being the next mayor and Curt Andre behind him with Matt Swanson. Lazar doesn't go to church now either now that he doesn't need votes. We have heard it all. This decision will hurt everyone. What will councilman Forrest White and Bill Dehart do since they are on council and running for reelection? Follow the money.

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It's so sad that we, as citizens, have a city manager that makes more than FRESNO, MODESTO AND STOCKTON and yet he wants MORE!!! He even makes more than Livermore's city manager and that's considered a Bay Area city.

Lets not even start...

It's so sad that we, as citizens, have a city manager that makes more than FRESNO, MODESTO AND STOCKTON and yet he wants MORE!!! He even makes more than Livermore's city manager and that's considered a Bay Area city.

Lets not even start talking about the city attorney's position...

Shame on you City Council members for wanting to push these contracts through as your last act to SCREW the tax payers before you're gone.

We should forget about Measure B and let's try to pass Measure "C", as in more "C"oin in the "C"offers for the "C"ity manager and the "C"ity attorney.

You know this type of behavior worked out so well for a little city named Bell too.

WAKE UP TURLOCKERS! WE NEED TO TAKE CONTROL OF OUR CITY COUNCIL AND REMIND THEM THEY WORK FOR US!!

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  1. STOP THE LEGACY

I am disappointed and angered by Mayor Lazar and his Council who just a short time ago said the contracts for the City Manager and City Attorney would postponed until after the election so the new Mayor and new council could determine if there...

I am disappointed and angered by Mayor Lazar and his Council who just a short time ago said the contracts for the City Manager and City Attorney would postponed until after the election so the new Mayor and new council could determine if there was a good fit. Mayor Lazar has decided to now accept and go forward with these two costly contracts without any consideration for Turlock's future and leave his position with a negative legacy. Shame on you Mayor Lazar!!! At will employees are at will employees who work on a year to year contract not a multi-year 3 year and 5 year contract.
During a recent National Night Out in the City of Turlock, a conversation by the City Manger was overheard by a citizen of Turlock with Modesto Police Department Capt. Joel Broumas in his neighborhood being advised "You need to think about becoming a City Manger, they pay you an OBSCENE amount of money" Really! What a comment for a leader of this community to make publicaly to be overheard by those standing nearby.
Recently the City Manager approved the mailing of Measure B mailing phamlets inside our utility bills in his attempt to sway Turlock community members into voting yes during the November Election with his strong arm style. Finally, he authorized the payments of 2015 contract incentives to all employee groups even though the public safety contracts hadn't been ratified in his attempt to sway employees into signing their contract and undermining the negotiation process.
So this is what Mayor Lazar is supporting as the very best for Turlock?
STOP THE LEGACY

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  1. Fr. Gerry Grossman

Politics aside - picking on a man's church attendance as a matter of political choice is a cheap shot. Dare you to name yourself.

signed, Fr. Gerry Grossman, Grace Anglican Church

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  1. ridiculous council

Only in Turlock does a city manager give a raise to police before they approve their contract to only have the police reject the contract smh Now they want to give him a pay raise after he sent political raid tax campaign material in the city bills

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  1. Mayor and manager

Mayor Lazar said every concern police and the citizens of Turlock have with distrust around the manager and road tax illegal mailer and pay raise to try and bribe the police are not real issues.

Steven Nascimemto also kept lying.

Amy Bublak is...

Mayor Lazar said every concern police and the citizens of Turlock have with distrust around the manager and road tax illegal mailer and pay raise to try and bribe the police are not real issues.

Steven Nascimemto also kept lying.

Amy Bublak is the only councilmember that tried to stand up for our police officers and the citizens. Good for her but she was the only one.

I thought Bill DeHart was supported by the police officers but he just traded on them and back stabbed the police.

Turlock politicians are just as crooked as those in DC.

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