City spokesman receives contract extension

COSTA MESA — Acting City Communications Director William Lobdell recently won a five-week contract extension.

Lobdell, a contract employee who does not receive benefits, will continue at his rate of about $3,000 a week for up to five weeks, he said Tuesday.

Lobdell is a former Los Angeles Times reporter and Daily Pilot editor and columnist. He was hired by the city in March.

"In just three months, Bill has done an extraordinary job bringing more transparency and public information to our citizens through our website, the traditional and digital media, and, for the first time, social media," said Tom Hatch, city chief executive officer, in an e-mail. "Without him, we would have absolutely failed in getting vital information to the public and media during these challenging times."

Lobdell's contract extension was criticized this week by the Orange County Employees Assn., which is rallying to stop some 200 proposed layoffs at Costa Mesa City Hall.

—Sarah Peters

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