2017-07-14 / Front Page

City Hall workers get 2 percent raise for cost-of-living adjustment

Last pay bump for Moorpark staff was 1 percent in 2016
By Jessica Waite

City officials say that in order to keep up with the cost of living in the region, the roughly 50 employees at Moorpark’s City Hall will receive a 2 percent pay raise at the end of the month.

At its July 5 meeting, the Moorpark City Council voted 5-0 to approve the salary increases.

The raise, which does not apply to council members, is based on the cost of living in the Los Angeles area, said Ron Ahlers, city financial director, because Los Angeles is the nearest major metropolitan area for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics produces a consumer price index.

The move will cost the city about $123,000, most of which will come from its general fund.

Though the city passed its budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year last month, the salary increase was not included in that report.

“It’s always a separate action (from the budget) because we’re dealing with the payroll side, so it needs to have a separate vote and be out for public discourse,” Ahlers said.

In the budget that was approved last month, officials projected a general fund surplus of $209,000, which will be used to cover the raises.

The last pay raise, a 1 percent across-the-board salary increase, was approved by the council in 2016.

At the top of the city’s pay scale, Moorpark city manager Steve Kueny will see his salary bump up from $234,645 to $239,338 per year.

Financial director Ron Ahlers’s annual salary will go from $161,991 to $165,231, and community development director David Bobardt’s will go from $170,165 to $173,568.

The salary raise included employees in the city’s labor union, who have jobs like administrative assistant, office clerk and maintenance worker. The pay raise will also affect part-time and minimum-wage employees, such as city clerks and recreation aides.

While the city has been able to save about $1.5 million annually by eliminating 11 positions over the last six years, some residents are still concerned about the cost of these salary hikes.

“The issue is that our city is having a lot of trouble expanding our tax base and we have an extremely (highly) paid city work force. The per-capita expense of these salaries, but more importantly, their eventual pension costs— the higher the salary, the higher the future pension costs— are a big worry for us,” wrote Moorpark resident Marilyn Fitzgerald Marmé in a Facebook comment.

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