SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Despite the hard times, about a third of San Diego City Council staffers got raises over the past two years, it was reported Saturday.
Most city employees have seen their pay cut 6 percent, but one City Council staffer has realized a raise of 67 percent, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Raises for 27 staffers averaged $10,779 per year, or 20 percent, the newspaper reported. The raises totaled $291,000, and nine of the raises came with promotions.
The raises were granted by council members during a two-year stretch in which overall spending fell nearly $240 million from its now $1.1 billion operating budget.
The raises were uncovered by the newspaper's "Watchdog" after it filed a request for the information under the state Public Records Act.
Citywide pay cuts started July 1, 2009.
The data received through the filing covered 86 full-time employees in six council offices, excluding staffers for David Alvarez and Lorie Zapf, who have only been in office seven months. The raises ranged from $2,000 to $34,000 annually.
Council members Carl DeMaio, Marti Emerald, Kevin Faulconer, Todd Gloria, Sherri Lightner and Tony Young gave a raise of at least 24 percent, and eight workers saw their pay increase by 33 percent or more, the Union-Tribune reported.
The biggest raise went to Donald Mullen, whose title was changed from policy chief to chief of staff by Emerald in March 2010. His annual salary rose 45 percent from $75,000 to $109,000, the newspaper repotted. Emerald told the newspaper Mullen's raise was "commensurate" with the new title.
The top earner, Jimmie Slack, Young's chief of staff, saw his salary increase by 12 percent to $112,000 annually.
Matthew Awbrey, Faulconer's policy director, got a 67 percent increase to $65,000 annually after being promoted twice. Despite the raise, Faulconer's budget remains the council's lowest, his spokesman noted.
Council staffers are not the only city employees to get raises. Mayor Jerry Sanders awarded raises totaling $46,000 to two top administrators in January.
Union contracts call for raises based on length of service and promotions, such as a police officer becoming a police captain. The Mayor's Office said those raises are typically about 5 percent although some can be higher.
The San Diego Rescue Mission opened its doors to the homeless community on Saturday for its annual Thanksgiving celebration.
A man died after his body caught fire, police said Saturday. At 11:30 p.m. Friday, police received a call regarding a person on fire in a field near 5200 Pacific Highway in Mission Bay Park, according to the San Diego Police Department.
Hoping for the best but preparing for the worst, local business owners and first responders teamed up for an all-to-real feeling hazard drill on Saturday.
A 5-year-old girl who was abducted from New York by her 32-year-old mother, who does not have custody of the child, was found safe Saturday in San Diego, police said.
Before Saturday, Marine veteran Joshua Ray, his wife and six children had just one vehicle to use for all of their family business, and Ray had to take the train from Oceanside to San Diego every day to get to work.
A sea of pink will travel through San Diego starting Friday for the Susan G. Komen San Diego 3-Day. The 60 mile journey kicks off early Friday morning and ends Sunday evening at the final destination – the celebratory Closing Ceremony.
A man arrested on suspicion of committing a murder in Imperial Beach earlier this week remained jailed Saturday.
Spencer Abbott had two goals and two assists after missing two games and Eric Fehr scored twice in his debut with the San Diego Gulls in an 8-3 victory over the Tucson Roadrunners Friday night.
On Friday, a fourth woman came forward with disturbing allegations of sexual assault by a San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputy.
Malcolm Young, the rhythm guitarist and guiding force behind the bawdy hard rock band AC/DC who helped create such head-banging anthems as "Highway to Hell," ''Hell's Bells" and "Back in Black," has died.