SLO City Council approves management raises

May 1, 2019

Christine Dietrick


Despite the city’s distressing financial situation, the San Luis Obispo City Council unanimously voted to approved significant pay raises for two management positions. Over the past 15 years, the city’s unfunded pension liabilities have gone from $0 to more than $150 million.

Last month, the SLO City Council approved pay increases for both City Attorney Christine Dietrick and City Manager Derek Johnson, as well as a nearly $11,000 cash bonus for the latter.

At its April 16 meeting, the council gave Dietrick a 5 percent raise, which will bring her base salary to $206,622. Dietrick collects about $300,000 a year in pay and benefits.

Since hiring Dietrick in 2010, the city council has awarded her at least five raises. Dietrick’s base pay has increased about $50,000 over her nearly decade-long tenure as city attorney.

Johnson received a 3 percent raise, which will bring his base salary to $218,374. Additionally, the council granted Johnson a one-time bonus allowing him to cash out 107 hours, or $10,900, of unused vacation time.

Derek Johnson

The council elevated Johnson to the position of city manager in the fall of 2017. That year, he received about $230,000 in salary and benefits, but Johnson worked most of 2017 at a much lower level of pay than he currently earns.

Johnson’s bonus combined with the two raises will add $14,000 to the current fiscal year’s budget, according to a city staff report. The raises will add $16,200 in yearly expenses to future city budgets.

The council approved the raises and bonus despite the city recently incurring a multi-million dollar budget shortfall due to rising pension costs. The staff report states the council considered several factors, including job performance; the desire to keep Dietrick and Johnson; and the fiscal sustainability of the city in deciding to give the two top executives raises.

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Yes they’ll approve of the pay raises at the same time the city is cutting jobs and hiring vendors who employ illegal immigrants. I can name several contracts the city has hired where the vendors have illegal immigrant employees, not only are they illegal but they hire people that don’t live here, so for the city to get another and another raise is another thing for them to cut costs other ways. It’s sad we have a city council that doesn’t think of all the impact it does on paying people more money and than also terminating people at the same time. Now should I name the vendors the city has hired that employee illegal immigrants? I can post them right here, I got the information to verify it.

And y’all the think the houseless and mentally ill are a drain on your tax dollars? Chit! They ain’t got nothin’ on these shysters! But that just fine, right? At least with there rate of pay they won’t be takin’ over the street corners or panhandling, right? Nope! Along with those makin’ an annual retirement benefit of $90K a year they don’t have to, they own your butts as it is!!!!

Gotta laugh out loud. The council had to raise pay for these clowns so they don’t leave? Lordy. We’d be better off — all of us — if that sorry excuse of an “attorney” did leave and they got a real one. Gets paid way too much.

Bankruptcy will be the only way out and the city knows it. After that pensions will be cut by 75% and they will have to learn to live like the rest of us. Tourism will not be the salvation to this mess.