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BREA : City Manager Gets 2.1% Salary Increase

September 27, 1993|MIMI KO

City Manager Frank Benest has received a 2.1% pay raise, boosting his annual salary to $132,790.

The City Council voted 4 to 1 for the raise at last week's meeting.

Councilwoman Kathryn E. Wiser, who voted against Benest's raise, said she did so because he "is already well-paid."

"When we're looking at state budget cuts, the upper echelon in management is where the cuts should really be made," she said. "When a person is making what I see as a good salary, I'm sorry, but my conscience wouldn't let me vote for that raise."

In addition to the raise, the council voted to continue paying $318.46 each month into Benest's retirement program. Council members also voted to give Benest $784.62 each month, most of which goes into his benefits package, which includes medical insurance.

A committee made up of public and private personnel experts compared seven Orange County cities--including Anaheim, Fullerton and Newport Beach--that provide services similar to Brea's and found that their city managers earn an average of $11,061 a month. With the raise, which is retroactive to July 3, Benest's salary will match the median, city officials said.

Council members determined that a raise was in order after evaluating Benest's job performance over the past year. They credited Benest, who drives a city car and uses a city-issued credit card for business expenses, with saving Brea more than $5 million through prudent management and successfully completing several major projects.

The council also said that Benest had not received a pay raise in two years because of the city's effort to reduce expenses and noted that most other employees had received raises ranging from 9% to 11%.

"Frank has done an outstanding job and has put in place systems that have kept this city out of serious financial difficulties," Councilwoman Bev Perry said. "We believe we are in very good financial condition mainly because of Frank's leadership, and we felt that some compensation was necessary to let him know that we think he's done a good job."

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