Thursday, October 2, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

News was a lie, but contract is better

RichRifkinW

By
August 2, 2011 |

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on.”
—Winston Churchill

No one is going to remember that it was a lie. It wasn’t even an approximation of the truth. It was a real whopper, this one. Yet The Enterprise and other publications reprinted it, taking the quote at face value.

Here is what the city of Davis news release said about how much more we will be paying Steve Pinkerton, our new city manager, than we paid our old head honcho:

“The contract is similar in structure to Bill Emlen’s, and its total compensation will, at most, represent a $3,500 increase over Emlen’s last full year of 2009,” the city news release said.

It’s already traveled halfway around the world. Churchill was right. The people in Durbin, Delhi and Davis were duped.

The city’s human resources director, Melissa Chaney, told me outside City Hall early Monday, “That (news release) was put out by the City Council. Staff had nothing to do with it. The number,” she paused, “it’s not true. They mixed up gross salary with total compensation. They did not compare total comp with total comp.”

The fact is that Pinkerton will cost the taxpayers of Davis $44,300 more in total compensation than we paid for Bill Emlen.

Pinkerton’s salary is $188,000, a $29,300 increase from Emlen’s $158,700.

It will additionally cost the city $12,550 extra to fund Pinkerton’s pension with CalPERS. And the new city manager’s medical and dental plan in the next 12 months will cost the taxpayers of Davis at least $2,500 more per year than we paid for those benefits for Emlen.

Not counting the cost of funding his retiree medical, his life insurance plan, convalescent coverage, survivor benefits, Medicare and worker’s comp insurance, Pinkerton will cost us $252,900 for his first 12 months on the job. In 2009, Bill Emlen cost us $208,600 for the same categories of compensation. The increase is 21 percent.

What the council did to make it look as if Emlen earned nearly as much was to add to his $158,700 salary in 2009 the money he received for cashing out his unused vacation and management leave time. Pinkerton will have the same cash-out options. So it is apples and oranges to attribute that income to Emlen but not to Pinkerton.

To my mind, it is a big deal that the City Council lied when announcing the hiring of Pinkerton. On the other hand, I don’t think the fact Pinkerton will be paid $44,300 more than Emlen made two years ago is necessarily bad.

If he figures good ways to save the taxpayers of Davis millions of dollars per year and proves himself to be an excellent personnel manager, the additional money he will cost will be worth it.

Yet it is not hard to notice how much higher Pinkerton’s compensation will be than the state pays its top managers:

Councilwoman Sue Greenwald pointed out that the executive director of the state water resources control board has a salary under $127,000 and earns less in benefits and pension. Yet his agency’s budget is 6.75 times as large as that of the city of Davis.

When Pinkerton’s prospective proposal was published last Friday, there was a serious problem in it. It capped the amount the new city manager would pay for the employee share of his pension funding at 2 percent of his salary.

In fact, the actual employee share for his pension is 8 percent of salary. The contract said that even if others in the management group had to pay 3 percent, his max would still be 2 percent. What that meant was that the taxpayers, in addition to funding the employer share, would pay another 6 percent to cover the difference.

The gain in dollar terms was just $11,280 for Pinkerton. But if 2 percent had become the precedent for all non-public safety employees, that would cost $6 million a year to the city on $100 million in salaries.

As readers of this column know, I have stressed for years that we need to have all the miscellaneous employees pay their full 8 percent share.

On Friday, I sent an email to all five members of the City Council, pointing out this mistake. I explained to them why it was a big deal and how they could fix it. To my surprise, my email changed their minds.

On Monday morning, when the council went into closed session, they altered the language in the published contract, rewrote it as I suggested and got Pinkerton to accept the new wording.

Under the Rifkin terms of his contract, Pinkerton will pay 2 percent of his salary for the employee share of his pension funding until June 30 of next year. That is the day all labor contracts in Davis expire. Then starting July 1, Pinkerton will contribute the maximum 8 percent until his contract expires.

It’s a shame that the news release announcing the hiring of our new city manager started out with a lie. However, the fact that the council is listening to reason is a good sign.

Everything I have heard and read about Pinkerton suggests he is a great choice for city manager. I wish him the best in leading Davis in the direction it needs to go.

— Rich Rifkin is a Davis resident; his column is published every other week. Reach him at Lxartist@yahoo.com

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Sunder wants to expand opportunities for all

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

     
    At Davis intersections, let’s be careful out there

    By Kim Orendor | From Page: C2 | Gallery

     
    Sunder supporters gather on Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Trokanski discusses new project on ‘Davisville’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Learn more about Boy Scouts during upcoming events

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

    Third-graders face high-stakes reading targets

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

     
    Learn how to ride a bike in Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Feinstein, Boxer depend on red-leaning Senate races

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A3

     
    Gallery hosts poetry night

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Oktoberfest features Grand Isle Fire Brigade

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Archer event set for Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Per Capita: Tales from the back burner

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

     
    Sunflower power at the Winters Community Library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Tour gives opportunity to watch moonrise in the bypass

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    UC campuses aim to be more inclusive to LGBT students

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Check out Soroptimists at info night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Register to vote by Oct. 20

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Helping disabled ag workers stay in agriculture

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Parenting advice on radio show

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Unitrans persists through changing times

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: C6 | Gallery

     
    Up for a fun day trip? Take a bike to Bike Dog

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: C8 | Gallery

    Volunteers are trained to help with train questions

    By Bob Schultz | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    There are plenty of fun activities around town

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: C13 | Gallery

    Getting from here to there by buses, planes and trains

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C14 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Feeling shunned after tragedy

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    A true vision for peace

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Drivers, just follow the rules

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Let’s fix the park deck

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    ‘Maupin’s Law’ 2.0: Prevention is better than punishment

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Choose Archer, Sunder, Adams

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Barbara Archer for school board

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Vote for change on board

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Poppenga considers all students

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Climate change is coming for you

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    Despite 168 points allowed, PSU defense may not be lousy

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Bumgarner, Crawford help Giants slam Bucs

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Cheung paces Devils past Pacers on the pitch

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    DHS JV runners shine in varsity events

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Youth roundup: Diamonds swing to victories at Vineyard Classic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: DHS girls tennis goes three for three

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    Davis robotics team pays it forward

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

    Natsoulas to host mural conference

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    Wineaux: Picking the last rosé of summer

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

    Odd Fellows to screen classic Westerns

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Robbie Fulks will visit ‘Live in the Loam’ on KDRT

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Old Macs get new life at art exhibit

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Woodland Opera House rounds up cowboy poetry, music

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Music for brass, choir and organ set at DCC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, October 2, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6