Grover Beach Police Chief Jim Copsey has a new job title: assistant city manager.
At its Monday meeting, the Grover Beach City Council unanimously approved a motion to change the police chief job classification to include the assistant city manager position.
Unlike other cities in San Luis Obispo County, Grover Beach has never had an assistant city manager.
With the new title of police chief/assistant city manager, Copsey would take over some of City Manager Bob Perraults administrative duties and act as city manager in Perraults absence.
The decision to reclassify the police chief position came after Perrault suffered an illness earlier this year that removed him from the office for six weeks.
Copsey stepped in and performed many of the city manager duties, Perrault said. That gave him the idea for the reclassification. The police chief was a natural choice because he already has experience managing a large organization, he said.
Im not thinking that Im heading anywhere in the near future, Perrault said. But its a good idea to have some successor planning in case there is a vacancy in the city manager position.
Combining the two positions could also save the city money, Perrault told the City Council at its Monday meeting.
A separate assistant city manager could cost the city more than $95,000 a year, rather than less than $20,000, he said.
With the new position, Copsey will earn an additional $13,230 a year, plus incentive/benefit pay that could bring the total amount closer to $16,000 to $18,000, according to a city staff report.
This would bring his salary to the top of the range proposed in the staff report for the combined position, Copsey told The Tribune on Wednesday. The salary range for the combined position is $110,172 to $144,192 annually.
In 2011, The Tribune reported Copsey was the highest-paid city employee in Grover Beach with a base salary of $131,868.
Copsey said he looks forward to taking over the new position.
Its going to be a balancing act between the city and the police department, but I think we can do it, Copsey said.
Copsey will officially take on his new duties Oct. 28.