Cambria general manager to get a 38 percent pay increase
April 25, 2016
By KAREN VELIE
Less then two months after the implementation of a 116 percent water and sewer rate increase, the Cambria Community Services District is planning to approve a set of staggered pay hikes of 38 percent for its general manager.
In June 2011, the board voted to make Jerry Gruber its general manager at a salary of $150,000 a year plus benefits. If the board approves Gruber’s new contract at Thursday’s board meeting, it will raise his annual salary by July 2020 to $221,984, or with benefits to about $310,778 a year.
Over a nine-year period, Gruber’s income will have increase by 48 percent. Gruber manages a district that provides water, sewer, fire protection, lighting, trash, and parks, recreation to about 6,000 residents.
If the new contract is approved, Gruber will receive two retroactive pay increases of 4 percent, one going back to Jul 1, 2015 and the other to Jan. 1, 2016. On July 1, 2015, Gruber will get another 5 percent raise followed by 5 percent raises every July 1 through 2020.
And while retroactive pay increases back to the point negotiations began appear to be legal, going back further may violate Article 11 of the California Constitution. Closed session discussions regarding Gruber’s salary began in January 2016.
“A local government body may not grant extra compensation or extra allowance to a public officer, public employee, or contractor after service has been rendered or a contract has been entered into and performed in whole or in part, or pay a claim under an agreement made without authority of law,” according to Article 11 Section 10.
Because of financial shortfalls, the district raised its water and sewage rates in March by 116 percent. Under the new formula, the bimonthly bill for residents who use about 50 gallons of water a day, increased from $23.82 to $51.50.
The board will meet at 12:30 p.m. on April 28 to vote on Gruber’s proposed pay raises.