COMPTON — All 480 of the city's employees who are not rank-and-file police officers will receive pay raises of at least 7%, most retroactive to July 5, under a plan adopted by the City Council on Tuesday.
The council voted by various margins to approve 10 resolutions that implemented a $1.5-million pay-raise package, which is to be financed by money just received from a redevelopment bond sale. The raises will go to the city's administrators, administrative staff, clerical workers, laborers and firefighters. The council's pay was not affected.
The police are now in the final year of a two-year pact that will expire July 1.
Most of the city's employees will receive a 7% raise. Two of the three elected administrators--City Clerk Charles Davis and Treasurer Wesley Sanders Jr.--were voted $12,000 annual increases to their current salaries of $42,000 for their work in connection with the bond sale. Compton's other elected administrator, City Atty. Wesley Fenderson Jr., will receive a 7% raise, to $73,245. Those three raises went into effect Wednesday.
With city coffers running dangerously low because of last year's loss of federal revenue sharing aid, officials last month issued a $40-million redevelopment bond and found a way to divert $11 million of the proceeds into the general fund. The pay raises came from that.
Data Entry Workers Favored
The largest raises went to the data entry personnel, who received a 32% increase effective Wednesday. That raise, according to City Controller Timothy Brown, is justified by the increased skills and responsibilities of the department as Compton updates its computer systems.
That raise narrowly passed by a 3-2 tally as Councilmen Maxcy D. Filer and Floyd A. James argued that regardless of the increased skills, the raise was too large a jump at one time.
City Manager James C. Goins, whose salary was raised to $81,132, said all of the raises were part of his administration's philosophy of bringing Compton employees up to the pay levels of surrounding cities. He said he selects five neighboring cities and the employees' unions pick five more and their combined average salaries are compared to Compton's.
"What we do is throw out the top and bottom (salaries) and take the mean average," Goins said. "Our management goal is to pay our employees an average salary."
In other action, the council upheld a planning commission decision not to allow the recently burned James Hotel to be repaired.
The hotel, which was actually a low-cost residence hall catering mostly to transients, suffered major fire damage in May. It had long been the target of critics who said its dilapidated conditions were an eyesore and a threat to public safety.
In denying the appeal, the council cited a Police Department study that said crime in the area surrounding the hotel had dropped by 90% since its closing.