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BUENA PARK : City Hikes O’Rourke’s Salary to Keep Him

The City Council decided that the city could not afford to lose City Manager Kevin O’Rourke and voted 5 to 0 to boost his pay by $11,000 a year.

Council members took the vote in a closed session this week, just four weeks after signing O’Rourke’s 10th annual contract and giving him a 2% raise.

Another city offered to top that $96,000 salary. But the council agreed to raise his salary to $107,000, said Councilman Arthur C. Brown.

O’Rourke had asked council members not to disclose which city was trying to lure him.

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“Everybody on the council decided we can’t afford to lose him,” Brown said.

O’Rourke, 43, became Buena Park’s city manager in 1985, after serving in the same position in Stanton. He is attending a city managers’ conference in Chicago this week and was not available for comment.

The council is in the midst of dealing with a number of sensitive issues, and O’Rourke’s experience with the city is invaluable at this time, Brown said.

He pointed to a five-year strategic plan that financial officials are developing under O’Rourke’s direction as one issue.

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