The Burbank City Council agreed to give one of its top officials a pay raise to bring her salary within the range of the region's average labor market.
On Tuesday, council members voted 3-1 to bump up the compensation for City Atty. Amy Albano by roughly 4.4%, which raises her salary from $19,916.24 to $20,787.09 a month. Councilman David Gordon was absent because he was on a city-related trip to Washington, D.C.
Councilman Bob Frutos had initially supported Albano's pay hike, but decided to vote against it after his colleagues decided not to offer a multiyear reimbursement agreement to the Family Service Agency and the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and the Greater East Valley for youth services.
Frutos said that on principle, he could not support Albano's raise if the city was not going to support youth services.
"I really enjoy working here in the city of Burbank," Albano said in a phone interview on Friday. "It's an increase, but I'm the last one out of everyone to have their compensation brought to market."
In September 2016, the city adopted a compensation policy to "recruit and retain a well-qualified workforce to provide exceptional services" by adjusting employees' pay levels to be near or on-par with job markets outside Burbank, according to a city staff report.
The city conducted a salary survey for its executives in 2016 and discovered that many top employees were paid less than their counterparts in neighboring municipalities.
According to the staff report, Albano's salary was 12.92% below the market average in the region.
Albano, who has been with Burbank since 2011, said that other department heads were given salary adjustments last July and that the city held off on giving her a raise until after they performed an employee evaluation on her.
"I didn't get more or anything less than what everyone else received," she said.
During the meeting on Tuesday, residents Mike Moynahan and Roy Wiegand criticized the timing of Albano's raise, stating in a video they submitted that it was not the right time to give any top official a salary increase. Moynahan and Wiedgand were in the audience while the video was played.
Additionally, both men said they thought city officials planned to have the item regarding Albano's compensation hike come before council while Gordon was out of town.
"What's the rush?" Wiegand said in the video. "Ms. Albano is well taken care of here. She's going to be OK for a few weeks, a week even, without a raise. What is the rush? Why are we doing this?"
Vice Mayor Will Rogers said each council member receives an agenda forecast.
"All [Gordon] needed to do was say, 'Hold on to that until I get back,' and he would have been participating in this," Rogers said.
Anthony Clark Carpio, email@example.com