BUENA PARK : Tight Budget Puts Squeeze on Raise

The City Council has voted unanimously to renew City Manager Kevin O'Rourke's contract, but he won't get a pay increase because of the city's financial problems.

O'Rourke will receive the same salary of $93,791.50, which has been in effect since May 1, 1990. The new employment agreement covers June 1, 1993, to next May 31.

In 1991, O'Rourke was authorized to receive a $5,000 bonus for "doing an outstanding job," said Mayor Arthur C. Brown. But because of the city's financial crisis, O'Rourke won't be paid that until he leaves his post as city manager, Brown said.

If the city's fiscal picture improves, O'Rourke could be paid his bonus earlier, according to Brown.

The council in April approved contracts for city employees that included reductions in benefits and no pay raises, savings made to help ease a $2-million budget deficit.

"I don't feel it's appropriate to take bonuses and pay increases at the time I'm reducing the pay and benefits of my employees--and eliminating positions and laying off employees," O'Rourke said.

The council, which approved O'Rourke's contract on Monday, will re-evaluate his performance in May. If employees receive pay raises by then, O'Rourke's contract stipulates that the council will agree to increase his salary and consider a possible bonus.

Under the contract, O'Rourke is entitled to be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses related to city business. He is also given the use of a city-owned vehicle for personal and business use, and the city pays for the car's maintenance, repairs and insurance.

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