As the Montrose Shopping Park Assn. lurches through a revamp among its leadership and possible changes at its popular farmers market, board members have unanimously agreed to give their executive director a 50% raise.
The vote earlier this month increases the annual salary for Dale Dawson, who served on the board for many years before the group hired him as executive director a few years ago, from $12,000 to $18,000.
Dawson said he deserved the raise as his responsibilities have increased due to more park activities and the board separating itself from former City Councilman John Drayman, a one-time board member who often helped out when the association needed his aid.
He often helped run the Sunday Montrose Harvest Market. Glendale police are investigating embezzlement allegations brought by the board against Drayman, but have declined to comment on the investigation.
“It’s been absolutely overwhelming,” Dawson said of his workload.
Drayman said his volunteer work for the business improvement district board was limited to the farmers market and said he was surprised that Dawson pointed to his absence as an example as to why he should get a raise.
“I’m a little stunned,” Drayman said.
In addition to upping Dawson’s pay, the board recently hired a second independent contractor, Linda McMenamin, as a promotional coordinator in charge of event planning and logistics. She is paid $12,000 a year.
It is common for business groups, like the Chamber of Commerce, to hire and pay executive directors. The MSPA gets about $130,000 a year from fees assessed on local merchants and collected by the city of Glendale. The money is supposed to be used for promotional purposes.
Much of the group's budget this year is slated for winter holiday promotions, which Dawson estimated to cost about $90,000.
The shopping park association is in the middle of a board election process in which two longtime incumbents have said they will not seek reelection, ensuring that some merchants say is a needed injection of fresh blood.
The association is also dealing with a split membership on a planned Starbucks.
-- Brittany Levine, Times Community News