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.
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