Council ponders salary boost

CITY HALL ? The City Council on Tuesday considered whether to adjust the salaries of the city manager and the city attorney following months of performance evaluations of those officials . But by the time of the Burbank Leader's Tuesday-night deadline, the council had not come to a decision.

To bring her compensation in line with city managers in surrounding cities, City Manager Mary Alvord received a 6% salary increase in May 2005, which was retroactively applied to July 1, 2004 ? the beginning of the fiscal year, said Management Services Director Judie Sarquiz. The raise set Alvord's annual salary at $160,908.

That 2005 increase came after an evaluation for the 2003-2004 fiscal year, but no subsequent performance evaluations were conducted for the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 fiscal years, Sarquiz said.

"If you look at it that way, she is two behind because salary adjustments are usually every year," she said.

But the council could decide that the 2004 increase brought Alvord's compensation up to market standard, and leave the salary alone, Sarquiz said.

The council could also choose to apply retroactive raises to one or both of the years in question, she said. If the council decides to institute an increase, it will decide at that point what the increase should be.

City Attorney Dennis Barlow, who has held the post since 1997, received a 2.5% raise in May 2005, Sarquiz said.

The increase bumped Barlow's yearly salary to $166,382.

In March, the council increased the salary ranges for the city manager and city attorney posts after city staffers took an average of salary ranges in 12 nearby cities, including Glendale, Pasadena, Torrance and Inglewood.

The range for Burbank's city manager salary is now $14,235 to $17,295 and the range for the city attorney is $12,961 to $15,748, a city report said.

"There's no doubt that the council is satisfied, and has been satisfied with their performances," Assistant City Manager Mike Flad said.

Increases can also be attributed, in part, to wage discrepancies between Burbank's compensation levels and levels in other cities, Flad added.

Performance evaluations reveal a positive response from city officials.

"I think Mary has exceeded the expectations that the council has set for her and handled many of the challenges with the utmost professionalism," City Councilwoman Marsha Ramos said.

During Alvord's tenure the city has endured numerous challenges, including implementing $10 million in budget cuts, transitioning new department heads and coping with natural disasters, Ramos said.

"All the while she continued to deliver excellent city services," Ramos said.

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