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Here are the top 10 highest-paid city employees in Morro Bay last year

Morro Bay City Hall.
Morro Bay City Hall. mfountain@thetribunenews.com

The city government wage data released by the California State Controller’s Office encapsulates the tumult that has surrounded the city of Morro Bay’s senior leadership in the past two years, characterized by staff turnaround in several top administrative positions.

City Manager Scott Collins, who started his job in November 2017, said that the data published by the state tells an incomplete story.

For example, the city manager position was listed as having $83,689 in regular pay. That represents approximately six months of former manager Dave Buckingham’s salary before he was relieved of duties in June 2017.

“There were a couple of interim city managers between Dave and me,” Collins said in an email to The Tribune.

The $119,897 “lump-sum pay,” for the position is equal to six months of Buckingham’s salary, in addition to payouts for his accumulated vacation and sick leave.

“When individuals leave the city, they receive payouts for accumulated vacation/sick leave,” Collins wrote.

Collins said that is also evident with the city finance director position.

“We had the former finance director leave the city in 2017, which explains why the lump-sum figure for that position ($25,984) is higher than most others,” he said.

Collins also said it’s important to note that for the fire department staff positions listed in the top 10, of which there are four, “that a portion of that overtime is attributable to mutual aid response. Overtime is accumulated by fire staff during mutual aid response to incidents like the fires in Ventura/Santa Barbara late last year. That overtime is fully reimbursed by the state.”

Collins said the “Other Pay” category includes vehicle and cell phone allowances for department heads, “as they are expected to be on-call at all times and be able to get to and from the city at a moment’s notice.”

Here were the 10 highest-paid City of Morro Bay positions for 2017:

1. City Manager: $206,286

Regular Pay: $83,689

Overtime Pay: $0

Lump-Sum Pay: $119,897

Other Pay: $2,700

Total Retirement and Health Contribution: $6,730*

*Total retirement and health contributions not factored into total wages.

2. Public Services Director: $168,914

Regular Pay: $149,626

Overtime Pay: $0

Lump-Sum Pay: $12,788

Other Pay: $6,500

Total Retirement and Health Contribution: $40,368

3. Captain (Morro Bay Fire Department): $151,293

Regular Pay: $82,336

Overtime Pay: $54,996

Lump-Sum Pay: $3,651

Other Pay: $10,310

Total Retirement and Health Contribution: $37,159

4. Chief (Morro Bay Fire Department): $146,657

Regular Pay: $145,157

Overtime Pay: $0

Lump-Sum Pay: $0

Other Pay: $1,500

Total Retirement and Health Contribution: $40,897

5. Harbor Director: $136,622

Regular Pay: $128,318

Overtime Pay: $0

Lump-Sum Pay: $4,344

Other Pay: $3,960

Total Retirement and Health Contribution: $45,568

6. Deputy City Manager*: $135,852

Regular Pay: $114,923

Overtime Pay: $0

Lump-Sum Pay: $18,160

Other Pay: $2,769

Total Retirement and Health Contribution: $25,302

* This position has been eliminated in the city’s 2018-19 budget.

7. Captain (Morro Bay Fire Department): $132,795

Regular Pay: $86,121

Overtime Pay: $36,613

Lump-Sum Pay: $0

Other Pay: $10,061

Total Retirement and Health Contribution: $37,852

8. Community Development Director: $129,327

Regular Pay: $121,904

Overtime Pay: $0

Lump-Sum Pay: $0

Other Pay: $7,423

Total Retirement and Health Contribution: $27,749

9. Finance Director: $120,652

Regular Pay: $87,165

Overtime Pay: $0

Lump-Sum Pay: $25,984

Other Pay: $7,503

Total Retirement and Health Contribution: $17,010

10. Engineer (Morro Bay Fire Department): $120,150

Regular Pay: $74,935

Overtime Pay: $34,844

Lump-Sum Pay: $0

Other Pay: $10,371

Total Retirement and Health Contribution: $26,165

Andrew Sheeler: 805-781-7929, @andrewsheeler
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