ALAMEDA CITY COUNCIL | Last month, Alameda City Manager John Russo’s assistant, Liz Warmerdam, was tabbed by the City Council to replace him on interim basis.
In March, Russo accepted a $295,000 contract to become the next city manager of Riverside, starting May 4. The opportunity was a significant boost in salary over his $215,000 contract in Alameda.
Warmerdam, meanwhile, is being offered a contract to be Alameda’s interim city manager worth $240,000, according to a city staff report.
The contract is at the higher end of the pay scale of other East Bay permanent administrators and likely sets the salary bar high for the next city manager.
In comparison, neighboring San Leandro on Monday night is due to approve City Manager Chris Zapata’s new five-year base contract worth $223,000 a year. Zapata, however, plans to give $10,000 each to the city’s police chief and his assistant city manager.
There is no timetable for Russo’s replacement, but the Alameda City Council has expressed a desire to cast a wide net outside of the city for a permanent day-to-day manager. A few council member have said the search is an opportunity for the new council to stamp its own identity at City Hall.
This is way too much money for a City Manager. Outrageous!
The argument I hear most frequently is: if we don't pay competitive salaries we won't be able to hire the best people. This is “public” service, you shouldn't expect to be paid what your counterparts in industry are paid. To which I'll add what UC keeps telling it's employees: if you don't like what you're being paid, you're welcome to find a job elsewhere.