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City To Pay:

A brochure soliciting applicants for the top job in Santa Monica offers a generous “compensation package,” with a starting salary of $225,000-$250,000 and extensive benefits, to what it calls “the ideal candidate.”   

According to the brochure’s “portrait of the ideal candidate,” the person who succeeds Santa Monica City Manager Susan McCarthy “must be a strategic creative thinker who has a proven track record in fiscal management, land use, consensus-building, and the ability to deal with environmental and social issues such as sustainability, affordable housing, and homelessness. The ideal leader must value community participation and know how to facilitate input from citizens, commissions, and the City Council. He/she will have a reputation for intelligence, poise, and being calm under fire. He/she must have the flexibility and mind set to effect change within the agency as needed.

“Additionally, the ideal City Manager demonstrates:  Strong fiscal management and insight; Knowledge of planning, land use, zoning,  building and safety; A business attitude of running the agency, versus status quo; Superior listening and communications in all forms;  Unquestionable ethics and integrity;  A good antenna for community issues; Prudent risk-taking; Mentoring and developing excellence from City staff; Problem solving with a creative attitude; Teamwork, effective delegation, and accountability; Fostering an administration of transparency; An openness to new ideas, and the desire to be a leader.”

The person who matches that “portrait” will be offered the following compensation package, according to the brochure, “Salary range $225,000 – $250,000 with a generous benefits package including: PERS Retirement; City pays employee’s contribution of 7 percent which is ‘special compensation’ factored into retirement benefit; City-paid health insurance (medical, dental, vision, and Employee Assistance Program) for employee and dependents. The City currently pays 100 percent of the medical insurance premium but could fluctuate year-by-year based on the cap for the City’s contribution. No cap exists for dental, vision or EAP;  City contributes to retiree medical trust ($142/month) and retiree medical insurance up to age 70, providing years of public agency service and age equals 70 at time of retirement; City-paid Term Life Insurance (2 x annual salary), and LTD (to 60%);  Supplemental Retirement Plans: 457 and 401(a) plans available; no City contribution. The City Manager is required to make a $625/month contribution into the 401(a) plan;  Holidays / Vacation / Sick Leave: 12 holidays, includes two floating holidays; one Vacation day/month (first five years), graduating to 1.75 days/month after 15 years; one Sick Leave day/month. A higher Vacation accrual rate and a Sick Leave bank may be acquired under certain circumstances. Sick Leave cash out opportunities;  “Performance/Management Incentive Pay: $400/month plus 44 hours of pay per quarter. Performance Bonus of 1-10%.”

The brochure describes the “application process” as follows: “To apply for this exciting opportunity, please submit your resume by October 10, 2005 to: Lisa Mills, The Mills Group, 2314 N. Olive Lane, Santa Ana, CA 92706-1936; or by e-mail to lmills@themillsgroup.net.Earlier this year, McCarthy announced that she planned to retire next month. She has been City Manager for six years, and, like her predecessor, John Jalili, was deputy City Manager prior to taking the top job.

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