NEWPORT BEACH -- Partly in response to a survey that showed City
Manager Homer Bludau's salary lagging behind other Orange County city
managers, as well as other city staff, the council will likely agree to a
pay raise for Bludau tonight.
"Homer was underpaid based on a survey we performed," Mayor Tod
Ridgeway said. "So we want to bring him in line with other city managers
in the county."
The survey ranked Bludau's annual salary of $145,000, plus a $3,600
car allowance, at No. 15 in a survey of 16 cities, beating out only San
Clemente. If approved, the increase will bring him to $170,000 minus the
car allowance, raising his ranking to about eighth.
His pay was also lower than Newport Beach's city attorney and chief of
Councilman Dennis O'Neil, who headed up the ad hoc committee to look
at a raise for Bludau, noted that the city manager had been hired at a
reduced rate to give the council an opportunity to evaluate his
"He was hired at a lower rate for a reason," said O'Neil, noting that
the council is unanimously in favor of the move. "We needed to make sure
that Homer could perform his job as we hoped that he would, and he has.
This is a time to reward him. We're glad to do it."
Bludau said he appreciates the gesture.
"I'm pleased that it appears that the council is expressing confidence
in my performance," he said. "I've been here almost three years, and I
love working for this community and this City Council."
One of Bludau's accomplishments in the last three years has been
improving the city's human resources operations, including writing an
employee manual. Previously, the city did not have any manual to clarify
terms of employment. He also has helped the city annex Newport Coast and
worked to extend the John Wayne Airport settlement agreement.
"Homer rolled up his sleeves and really got in there to do what we've
hired him for, which is to streamline all operations and create standards
at City Hall," Ridgeway said. "He's done a heck of a job."
* WHO: Newport Beach City Council meeting
* WHEN: 7 p.m. today
* WHERE: Council Chambers at City Hall, 3300 Newport Blvd.