A measure to appropriate $205,000 to help pay for a series of raises to bring the salaries of about 300 city employees in line with those of neighboring communities failed to win approval from the City Council.
The council, which approved the raises 3 to 2 on July 18, needed four votes to appropriate the money for the salary increases because it requires amending the budget.
If the council does not come up with $205,000 to pay the salary increases during the second half of the fiscal year, the city would probably have to make up for it by not filling vacant positions, city Personnel Manager Gordon Youngs said.
Mayor Steven Gourley and Councilman Jim Boulgarides, who had voted against the raises last month, also cast the two votes against the appropriation Monday night. The raises were recommended by a consultant based on a survey that showed city salaries lagging an average of 3% behind those of 12 other cities and the county.
Gourley said he opposed the appropriation because among the recipients of the raises would be management personnel who will be entering collective bargaining negotiations in October.
“I’m in favor of giving raises to people who need it immediately,” said Gourley, referring to positions such as engineers and planners that the city is having trouble recruiting. But “the management group should be separated out, because they are being negotiated with in a few weeks.”
Councilman Paul Jacobs, however, urged the appropriation’s opponents to approve the measure and support the majority of the council in implementing “a long-standing policy that Culver City be in the median range in salary.”
About half the money for the raises, which are retroactive to July 2 and will be implemented over the next three years, is already in the budget, Youngs said.