Almost two weeks after local residents overwhelmingly passed a three-quarter cent tax increase to help City Hall stave off a fiscal crisis, the City Council voted to approve a $10,000 raise for City Manager Steve Mermell.
According to a city staff report, Mermell’s annual salary will go from $286,000 to $296,000 retroactive to Aug. 8.
Along with the raise, Mermell will also receive a $10,000 bonus this year.
The raise and bonus are part of Mermell’s contract, which guarantees annual raises and bonuses if the council gives Mermell a favorable job review.
Last January, the City Council voted to raise Mermell’s salary to $286,000 and awarded him a $7,100 bonus. In August 2016, the City Council approved a five-year, $275,000 contract for Mermell, excluding perks and benefits.
The council unanimously chose Mermell from a list of more than 50 applicants for the position.
Mermell’s first raise and bonus came just days before Mayor Terry Tornek began his successful push for the tax increase, which passed on Nov. 6.
At least 16 employees at City Hall make more than $200,000 a year, according to Transparent California.
More than 60 percent of the residents approved the three-quarter cent sales tax, which will generate as much as $21 million a year. According to Mermell, the tax increase will stave off a budget crisis that could have left the city more than $3 million in debt.
The raise increases Mermell’s salary above his predecessor Michael Beck, who made $293,000 a year, excluding perks and benefits. All told, Mermell’s salary and benefits together are expected to cost about $418,000 a year, according to staff reports. Beck left the city in 2016 after he was hired by UCLA.
Mermell has worked in Pasadena for nearly 30 years. He served as assistant city manager for the past seven years. Mermell started in 1989 as an analyst in the Water and Power Department. His career includes a number of financial roles, with stints as the city’s acting finance director, planning director and health director.