SLO city attorney slated for third straight raise

May 14, 2014
Christine Dietrick

Christine Dietrick

Correction: The proposed raise would be Dietrick’s third raise in three years, not her third raise in four years.

San Luis Obispo City Attorney Christine Dietrick is due for another pay raise.

A year after receiving a 4.5 percent salary increase, Dietrick is slated to receive a 4.2 percent bump in pay. If Dietrick receives the salary increase, it will be her third in three years. She previously received a 3.5 percent pay raise in April 2012.

At its upcoming May 20 meeting, the San Luis Obispo City Council will likely increase Dietrick’s salary by slightly more than $7,000. Following a council review of Dietrick’s performance, Mayor Jan Marx and Human Resources Director Monica Irons are recommending that the council raise her base salary from $168,000 to $175,006.

The proposed raise comes just one month after the city spent more than $2 million paying down its legal insurance liability. In February 2013, the city learned that it had accrued $3.1 million in legal liability owed to the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority.

The CPJIA also raised the city’s annual rate by $74,000 after the city lost a costly lawsuit over its practice of ticketing the homeless.

Dietrick already makes significantly more than California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who earned a $143,571 salary in 2013.

The council also reviewed the performance of City Manager Katie Lichtig, but no changes to her contract are proposed.

Also at next week’s meeting, the council will consider awarding itself pay raise. A committee on council member compensation is recommending changes to salaries and benefit structure that would allow council members to earn $4,800 more annually. The mayor’s pay could increase by $6,000 annually under the proposal.


In the councilmembers eyes she does deserve a raise, she supports them on all their questionable acts and behaviors.

Lets hope the voters remember this when asked about Measure Y. Hopefully the Measure will fail, but then we know the city will cry poor, and since they continue to reward failure and don’t have a clue how to invest they could be.


Dietrick doesn’t deserve a pay raise. She’s already paid far too much. She also gets a lot of perks, like a super generous “car allowance,” though why a city attorney can’t use a city car like all the peons who do city business isn’t clear.

She’s basically incompetent. The whole marijuana ordinance fiasco of last week was her doing, and why the council would give her a pay raise with that fresh sh– smeared on their face is a really good question. With her, it’s been one fiasco after another. When she talks to the council, you listen and just have the feeling this isn’t someone of great competence.

Basically, attorneys are arrogant people with an inflated notion of their value, who charge as much for an hour of their “time” as ordinary people make in a week — and clock it by the minute! — and still pretend they’re underpaid. Ever talked to one on the phone? They time the phone call down to the second. This greedy bunch looks out for itself. Marx is an attorney, so of course she has no problem with paying Dietrick more — she’s looking out for her own.

What’s interesting, and not explained in the story, is why Lichtig isn’t up for a raise. Is that correct? Didn’t the previous CCN story say she was up for a raise?


Pushed the wrong key in my frustration, Is there no control , can

the council just up their pay ?


SIMPLY AMAZING , I thought the city was crying poor a couple years ago, and now raises for all , what about all the rest off the city employees , cops , firefighters , maintence workers , do they not deserve a little something , 4.2 nice , I wish the


No, they do not, and neither do these people. The cops needs pay CUTS.


And the firefighters need cuts, at a minimum in the form a single position, that is the one held by Mr. Mason, he should have never been re-hired.



Your obsession with Ryan Mason is bizarre. Get over the fact that Mason has his job back (rightfully so) and the city is a bunch of idiots for trying to fire him in the first place. How many more times does Dietrick have to screw up for people to hold HER accountable for the decisions she makes?


.”…and the city is a bunch of idiots for trying to fire him in the first place.

YOU are absolutely right! Why would they even consider firing someone who IS just like them. Excellent observation.


Because SHE is paid to know which cases she can win and lose. She knew they could not successfully terminate Mason. Why did the city try anyway? Well, I don’t have that much time to get into it nor do I think ya’ll give a ____ anyway.


A classic example of the taxpayers being forced to pay to reinforce AND reward failure.

A very unethical concept indeed.


If anyone has any doubts about why Measure “Y” is being so hard fought by the counsel to be placed back on the ballot….look no further than where the previous funds went and where new funds are headed. Measure “Y” funds have NOT be spent on capital improvements as the original marketing scheme proposed; the funds were used to inflate pensions through unwarranted salary increases within city government.

Please, if anyone could show some proof (because the City has NOT) to me that this is false and that measure “Y” funds have ALL gone to capital improvements as touted and NOT to salaries, I’ll be happy to rethink my position. When measure “Y” is back on the ballot, which is a certainty now that Smith has succumbed to what I can only equate to political pressure from Mayor Marx, the citizens of SLO county need to ban together and vote NO on measure “Y”.


If you want the FACTS rather than your assumptions about “pension inflation,” see this:

It’s a letter from John Fowler, a CPA who sat on the Measure Y renewal committee, who despite city staff stonewalling uncovered what Measure Y funds have been spent on, and NOT spent on (all the things they promised last time this was voted on!). It’s a really ugly picture, with the sort of detail that a CPA would uncover.

Vote NO on Measure Y renewal.


Thank you for the Link


So right! Anyone who votes for a renewal of Measure Y is a fool. The money has been squandered on pay raises and new meaningless employees (the trash can police, neighborhood wellness, etc) while we sit with over $100 MILLION in the bank earning .025% interest and pay higher interest on loans and build nothing. This is such bad management it is hard to fathom. I have lived here 35 years and it was not like this until the past ten years or so.

The next thing is the city will go out for a pension obligation bond. It is already touting its high bond rating. Measure Y money will be spent on whatever the council wants and the general fund need,s while we borrow money to pay the $150 MILLION we owe CalPERS.

We should be paying off debts, getting a higher rate of return on our investments, and CUTTING rather than raising salaries.Cut some unnecessary positions, too.

The current city attorney has been abysmal. She has cost us taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars for her bad legal advice and the Council wants to reward he with a raise? She should be fired and the position should be eliminated and replaced with a contract attorney as was done in the past.


Simply amazing..

Old Salt

Wolves in the SLO hen house

Human Reason

Please someone tell me that as a Councilmember how you can possible reach a conclusion to give this employee a raise based upon her poor performance this past year. Instead of a raise she should be fired. Unbelievable. Vote out any Councilmember that votes for this raise.