SLO council considering another raise for city attorney
May 6, 2013
The San Luis Obispo City Council will decide Tuesday whether to grant City Attorney Christine Dietrick a 4.5 percent raise in pay based on performance while line level employees salaries are either frozen or facing cuts.
On March 27, the city council conducted a performance evaluation of Dietrick and, with the help of a consultant, determined that Dietrick is deserving of raise in base salary from $160,446 to $168,000. The council still must approve the increase in pay during open session.
A year ago, Dietrick also received a pay raise. Her salary increased 3.5 percent in April 2012.
As Dietrick’s salary has increased, the pay for line level employees has frozen. General city employees will receive no salary increases through 2014, and firefighters will receive no salary increases through 2015. Police officers took a 2 percent reduction in pay in January and will take another 2 percent pay cut in July 2014.
Dietrick’s proposed raise follows a year in which the city lost a lawsuit over its ticketing of the homeless and had to pay the winning attorneys $133,800 to settle the case.
Prior to suing, attorney Stew Jenkins asked the council to suspend its ordinance against sleeping in vehicles due to legal issues with its wording. The next day Dietrick said during a council meeting that the city expected to defeat any challenges to the ordinance.
After the city lost the suit and paid the settlement, the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority, which provides legal liability insurance, raised the city’s annual rate by $74,000. CJPIA also notified the council in February that it owes a retroactive payment of more than $3.1 million due to a change in how the agency calculates the city’s yearly contribution to the insurance fund.