Paso Robles council signs contract with new city manager

The Paso Robles City Council signed an employment contract with a new city manager Tuesday night, agreeing to pay him a larger base salary than the city’s outgoing top administrator receives.

Coming out of a closed-session discussion, the council unanimously agreed to hire Thomas Frutchey, 65, as city manager with an annual salary of $201,000 plus benefits.

Frutchey, who has been city manager in Pacific Grove for six years, will succeed Jim App, who announced his retirement this year after serving 25 years with the city, with 18 of those years as its city manager. App’s current annual salary is $194,000 plus benefits. The range for the position was $150,000 to $225,000 a year.

The council reaffirmed its closed session decision to hire Frutchey in a 5-0 vote before the public at Tuesday’s meeting. Mayor Steve Martin then invited Frutchey to speak, with Frutchey briefly thanking the council for choosing him and adding, “I look forward to working with you and the staff to serve this wonderful community.”

Frutchey was chosen from several rounds of interviews that attracted a total of 48 applicants for the position.

Frutchey’s total compensation will be about $295,292 a year, including salary and benefits. That includes his base salary and an annual city contribution of $4,200 to a deferred compensation program, with up to an additional $2,500 annually if he provides a matching contribution. He also gets a $175 monthly car allowance, 20 vacation days, 56 hours of administrative leave a year, a monthly city contribution of $3,962 to CalPERS retirement, health benefits based on his personal elections and education reimbursements as set by the city’s benefits contract for executive management. He also gets a one-time moving expense reimbursement of up to $10,000.

Frutchey is slated to start work in Paso Robles on Jan. 17. Assistant City Manager Meg Williamson will act as city manager in the interim after App leaves office Dec. 30.

App will receive a state pension through the CalPERS system based on the retirement formula that credits years of service, age and final compensation. He will be 64 when he retires.