Police pocket a 4% raise

Costa Mesa police have received a 4% raise because of increased tax revenue, the city announced Friday.

The cost-of-living adjustment will be retroactive to July 1, according to a news release from Costa Mesa.


In 2010, city officials and the two police unions covering sworn officers negotiated a raise that would be triggered if sales, property and hotel tax revenue beat 2007-08 fiscal year levels by 5% or more.

The city brought in more than $72 million in tax revenue that fiscal year.


If tax revenues had recovered only to that level instead of continuing to climb, police would have received a 2% raise.

"This is great news for our police officers and for our entire city," Mayor Jim Righeimer said in a prepared statement. "We ended the fiscal year with a $7-million budget surplus and the ability to pay more to our fine police officers. It's a win for everyone."

Despite the raise, three seasoned officers are in the process of transferring to other departments — a symptom of a strained relationship with the City Council — Ed Everett, president of the Costa Mesa Police Officers' Assn. said in an email.

"Even though this is positive news, I do not believe it will be enough to address the past and current climate," he said.


Past police chiefs have clashed with Righeimer and allied council members who approved reductions in the number of officers and other cost-saving measures.

In August, Righeimer, his wife and councilman Steve Mensinger sued the Police Officers' Assn. and their former attorneys, alleging harassment and intimidation.

Police could be in line for an identical raise next year if tax revenues remain 5% above 2007-08 levels, or a smaller raise if they dip to 3% above that fiscal year.

— Jeremiah Dobruck

Twitter: @jeremiahdobruck