Jan 272012

Apparently, several positions at City Hall are being paid in part by Redevelopment money, which is going away (or at least will be cut down) as the Redevelopment agencies are disbanded. At the Jan. 23rd meeting, Luke Sims, the city’s Community Development Director, mentioned that 40% of his $200K+ salary comes from Redevelopment money, and if the city wants to keep him, the City Council will have to find the money to make up the difference.

Now, this seems to me like a perfect opportunity to get rid of the “community” development director, which has done little to improve San Leandro and much to harm it (his battle against the Bal, pushing chain stores instead of local stores that keep money in the community, keeping hard restrictions on businesses opening in SL, pushing for the San Leandro Crossings affordable housing project in opposition to the community’s wishes, etc.). Of course, I bet he’d stay even at 60% of his current salary, as all other California’s cities are facing the same issue and they won’t be able to offer the high salaries they were offering before. Cities outside California don’t offer such outrageous salaries.

That said, our City Council has bent to the will of City Managers and Department Heads for a long time. Even though their compensation often top the $200K mark, they have declined to ask them to pay for /their own portion/ of pension contributions. Last week, they gave them free i-pads. When City Manager Hollister couldn’t handle his job, they funded a deputy city manager AND an assistant city manager.

So I’d say expect more cuts to public services in order to continue paying the high salaries of people like Luke Sims.

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