SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Santa Maria, on the verge of giving a pay raise to it's city manager, is stopped in it's tracks by the very man who was set to get the extra money.
Santa Maria city council is authorizing a pay raise for city manager Rick Haydon. But Haydon said he's giving up the pay raise because it just wouldn't look right to take it right now.
Santa Maria city council is set to authorize a pay raise for Haydon at tonight's meeting, even as the city just asked voters to approve a new sales tax increase that would go to public safety in the cast strapped city. But council members stand behind the pay raise decision.
"If you successfully complete the evaluation you are entitled to the raise," says Mike Cordero, Santa Maria city council member. "And that is all city employees."
Council member Cordero said the city manager raise isn't coming from a special fund or the new Measure U money. It's a raise that every city employee becomes eligible for annually.
Santa Maria city employees are eligible for 5 pay "step" raises. Haydon was authorized to move from step B, where he was making over $184,000 a year to step C where he would be making over $194,000.
To give some perspective, the San Luis Obispo city manager has a base pay of over $221,000. Santa Barbara city manager makes over $231,000 base pay.
Although he said he appreciates the pay raise approval, today Haydon said he has decided not to take it.
"Given the fact that we are still not out of the woods from a fiscal recovery standpoint, at the end of the day I did respectfully decline their offer to increase my performance base pay," says Haydon.
Council member Mike Cordero said the move by Haydon was admirable.
"He's not just going out and recommending cuts or anything, he's actually cutting his own," says Cordero.
Cordero also said Haydon will be eligible again for another pay raise in about a year.
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