Former city manager officially back on job

SOLANA BEACH — David Ott was officially rehired as the Solana Beach city manager during the Nov. 9 meeting, a basically cost-neutral move since his salary had already been factored into the current fiscal year budget.
When Ott retired as of Dec. 31, 2010, he received an annual salary of $180,250 plus benefits that included car and cell phone allowances, retirement contributions and insurance, bringing his annual pay to $228,878.
Under the new agreement, according to a staff report, Ott will receive $228,978, which includes an annual salary of $201,250 with no car and cell phone allowances and a requirement to now pay the employee portion of his retirement contribution.
He will work with a two-year contract beginning Dec. 2 with an optional one-year extension, however, he can resign or retire with a 60-day notice.
Ott announced his retirement in September 2010 and was rehired as an interim city manager the following month as part of the consent calendar.
He has been working in that capacity since Jan. 1, receiving $78 an hour and a monthly car and cell phone allowance of $450 and $50, respectively, but no benefits such as paid vacation and sick time.
City officials estimate he saved Solana Beach about $84,000 as an at-will employee.
Last month Mayor Lesa Heebner announced Ott would be returning full time to his previously held position.
In addition to his job as city manager he is also working as the finance director and without a deputy city manager.
When those two positions were vacated earlier this year, City Council opted not to fill them to help balance the budget.
Ott said he decided to return because several ongoing projects, such as developing the train station parking lot, a proposed affordable housing complex, the general plan update, adopting a local coastal plan and Highway 101 improvements, did not make sufficient progress during the past year.
The new contract was approved as part of the consent calendar.
Items listed on the consent calendar are adopted in a single action unless pulled for discussion prior to the vote by a member of the public or City Council. No such request was made.

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