Inks criticizes pay deal with new city manager

Council agrees to $240,000 plus perks, but balks at car allowance

At Tuesday's City Council meeting, council member John Inks criticized the $240,000 salary the council approved for new city manager Daniel Rich, saying the council missed a rare opportunity to cut employee costs.

"I can't go along with this," Inks said. "I support his appointment, not the salary."

Inks was the sole opponent to Rich's compensation deal approved Tuesday, but the vote on whether to hire Rich was unanimous.

"Those of us elected to council don't get many opportunities to be assertive about containing employee compensation costs," Inks said. With every new union contract, costs seem to be "spiraling up."

Rich was initially offered a lower salary, but a council majority accepted a higher counter-offer from Rich, Inks said. The council also took note of one Mountain View department head's relatively high salary in making the deal, Inks said.

The salary deal is a 20-percent raise from Rich's previous job at the City of Campbell, Inks said, but former City Manager Kevin Duggan was set to take no raise this year, as he had last year, Inks noted. Duggan was paid $260,000 in his last year on the job, said interim City Manager Melissa Stevenson Dile.

Mayor Jac Siegel said Rich's salary was "still considerably below" what other city managers are making in comparable cities in the area.

Member Ronit Bryant said she felt Rich's salary was appropriate. It is "commensurate with the importance of this job, the size of this budget and number of employees" the city has, she said.

Rich's compensation package includes a cell phone allowance of $70 a month, 22 days of vacation time annually with "an initial bank" of 100 hours of vacation. His health care, retirement health care, life insurance and disability insurance are the same as what other department heads enjoy. He will receive a 2.7-percent-at-55 retirement pension deal, but will pay 10.5 percent of the cost from his salary. The city will also contribute to a deferred compensation plan for Rich in an amount equal to 2 percent of his salary.

A $400 a month car allowance is one of the benefits Duggan received that won't be passed on to Rich. He also will not receive money to purchase a home in Mountain View, as Duggan received 20 years ago.

Rich starts his new job July 27.


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Posted by Alex M.
a resident of Willowgate
on Jun 13, 2011 at 3:23 pm

This makes me wonder how many Mountain View residents are needed to support one city manager.

The article makes this sound like a union position, what with Inks mentioning unions and the bit about comparing with other city managers (which is irrelevant). Is it a union position? For an executive level job?

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Posted by James
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jun 13, 2011 at 4:34 pm

@Alex: I'm not sure how the pay of other cities is irrelevant. If this guy is looking for a job then MV is competing against other cities to attract him so MV needs to be competitive. Whether we're competitive or over-generous is, of course, subject to debate.

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Posted by Pete
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 13, 2011 at 4:52 pm

I'm glad with have John Inks as a councilmember who is willing to tackle the tough issues and not just provide lip service. Councilman Inks has a good head on his shoulders; presents logical arguments; and doesn't succumb to peer pressure.



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Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 13, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Inks will always get my vote.

"He will receive a 2.7-percent-at-55 retirement pension deal."

It's funny how the concept of retiring at 55 is built in to public pensions as a matter of fact these days. Why can't they be expected to retire at 67 like the rest of us stiffs?

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Posted by jupiterk
a resident of Gemello
on Jun 13, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Its no doubt our city council is run by real crooks. Inks atleast had the courage to stand up and say something. I am not surprised, This guy Siegel is just corrupt and rotten from day one. He had some real shady conflict of interest at the outset. I am not surprised. The new city manager and Siegel have special personal relationship and there will be lot of quid pro quo in the coming days. I don't think there is any honest person in our city council that is trust worthy. They are all out there to rip us off , the common folks.

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Posted by Rossta
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 14, 2011 at 10:24 am

Rossta is a registered user.

Yea for John! I think it is an insult to the amazing Kevin Duggan with his 20 years of experience with Mountain View and an outstanding track record that we hire someone new at nearly his same pay level. We won't know until Mr. Rich has been on the job whether this is a good fit and he will perform well. At most, he should have been brought in at a lower salary with a planned pay increase in a year after proving himself.

I am also dismayed that we continue to provide generous pensions to public employees. The pension is all but vanished from the private sector - we all pay our own way with 401k plans - with a best case of getting a thousand or two in matching. Now, if they mean that 10.5% of his salary goes to pay for the pension, that would align with my own 401k experience, but they say it is only 10.5% of the cost with city pickup up 2%, so 87.5% is a deferred expense? I don't like that. We need to pay NOW for this expense and if we can't afford it, we shouldn't offer it.

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Posted by HB
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Unbelievable, I'm in the wrong profession. John Inks is the Man for the people, he should be Mayor.

Here is what San Jose current annual salary for a City Council Member is $90,000 and the Mayor's salary is $127,000.

I guess here in MV, our leaders are Kings and the average Joe is just surfs working for there beloved Kings and there court.

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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 15, 2011 at 11:40 am

Hard to believe this council can be taken seriously. A lot of talk about controlling union costs and then they open the bank for the top dog. Congrats to Inks but where was the so called Professor? Cant believe he went along with this nonsense.

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Posted by Just the facts
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 15, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Rich is 47.

Assume he retires at 55, 8 years of service will qualify him for a pension of 21.6% (2.7% x 8 = 21.6%) of last three years average salary.

Assuming a $240,000 starting salary and 2% annual raises, his final average salary will be approximately $275,000, which translates into a pension of $59,550 a year. (i.e. 21.6% of $275,000 = $59,550)

Now you might ask, how much will it cost Mountain View taxpayers to fund that pension. (which is the same as a life annuity – the price of which can be readily determined online. e g www . immediateannuities . com)

Well, the answer is $975,000!

Yes, that’s right. A pension worth $975,000 for working 8 years.

Quick division of $975,000 by 8 is $121,875.

So in fact, Mr. Rich’s total compensation is $240,000 a year, plus health care (est $20,000 a year for a family of four), retirement health care (say $20,000 a year in retirement – which if valued the same as a life annuity, would be worth approximately 1/3 of the pension, so $40,000 a year, life insurance and disability insurance ($4,000 a year est) plus $121,875 a year in deferred compensation.

Total $425,000 a year.

Oops – I forgot the $70 month cell phone allowance.

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Posted by KD
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 15, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Just the Facts overlooked the fact that Rich would be contributing 10.5% towards the cost of the pension, (approx $12,760 a year), so the $425,000 becomes $412,000 a year total compensation (salary, benefit and future benefits)

The writer states that the city will contribute to a deferred compensation plan, for Rich in an amount equal to 2% of salary. It is not clear whether this is an additional pension of 2% of salary ($4,800 a year), or a contribution of $4,800 a year to a compensation plan.

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Posted by DCS
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 16, 2011 at 4:15 pm

@Pete - I totally agree! After listening to a few Council sessions, the one person I'm continually impressed with is Inks, his sound logic and explanations are always a breath of fresh air. I don't always agree with him, but his presence is very much needed on the Mountain View City Council.

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Posted by Tony
a resident of Castro City
on Jun 30, 2011 at 9:45 am

Most of the City Council are fools who want nothing more than to get re-elected. Koga and Bryant are two perfect examples. SPEND SPEND SPEND. Oh wait, you want to talk about cuts, NO! Just SPEND!!!

Must be nice to never had real jobs, just someone aking money so they could run off to be single moms or noisy whiners...

Go get real jobs, learn what it takes to run a business, THEN get elected to council.

And those of you who voted for them, you should be ashamed. Did you ever look into their backgrounds?

Like this comment
Posted by Tony
a resident of Castro City
on Jun 30, 2011 at 9:47 am

Inks, Siegel, and Means are the only Council members worht anything more than lint.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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