Irvine City Council disagrees with grand jury findings

IRVINE — The City Council on Tuesday night approved a letter addressed to the Orange County Grand Jury that disagreed with the jury's findings that Irvine council members are among the highest paid countywide.

The countywide compensation study completed June 3 concluded that Irvine has the highest annual compensated City Council members, with a base pay of $21,120 and benefits of $26,976.

The council cited these findings as flawed, according to a draft of the letter.

The letter states that "the Grand Jury erroneously added together the annual salary of each member of the City Council and the annual salary of those who also serve, in a separate and distinct capacity, as members of the Board of Directors of the Orange County Great Park Corporation."

The annual salary for Irvine City Council members should reflect $10,560, according to the letter.

The grand jury study also found that public disclosure of municipal compensation ranges from "good to non-existent," and that employment contracts are not found on the majority of city websites.

The council disagreed on both counts: the city's compensation webpage posts elected officials and management employees' salaries and benefits, and the city manager's contract.

An earlier version incorrectly stated that the city cited the findings as flawed and that the city disagreed on the grand jury findings. It was the City Council who felt that way.

The contract for the Orange County Great Park chief executive officer will also be added soon, according to the letter.

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