Almanac

News - June 15, 2011

Menlo Park police commanders may get salary bump

by Sandy Brundage

Right on the heels of the police sergeants union agreeing to a two-year pay freeze, the two police commanders of Menlo Park could see a pay raise of up to $13,956 — if the City Council approves it on Tuesday.

According to the staff report, since a commander makes less than a sergeant but has more responsibility, the jump from $128,035-$160,044 to $139,200-$174,000 is necessary.

Not so fast, said pension reform advocate and planning commissioner Henry Riggs. "Seriously, enabling raises in 2011?" he said.

Police and firefighter salaries remain a hot topic of debate in the wake of November's passage of Measure L, the city's pension reform initiative, which didn't include public safety employees. City Manager Glen Rojas was not immediately available for comment.

"Pay decreases and a plentiful supply of qualified candidates are now the norm. Police in San Jose and other jurisdictions in the Bay Area are REDUCING compensation in the range of Ten Percent. Why is Menlo Park staff ignoring this reality?" wrote Ned Moritz, also a key figure behind Measure L's success, in a letter to The Almanac.

Both Mr. Riggs and Mr. Moritz questioned why the raises were tucked into the agenda under a budgetary item rather than labor negotiations.

The City Council meeting starts Tuesday, June 14, in council chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St.

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