Encinitas’ top employee and its rank-and-file employees will receive two-percent raises, as the City Council approved the pay increases at a recent council meeting.
City Manager Karen Brust received high praise from the council, which voted 4-0 to improve her $5,000 pay bump for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. A subcommittee composed of Mayor Catherine Blakespear and Councilwoman Kellie Shay Hinze negotiated the wage increase.
“She does an outstanding job,” Blakespear said, citing Brust’s 30 years of experience and her performance since she was hired in mid-2015. “We are really excited about this.”
The City Council hired Brust — one of two employees the council controls — as the permanent replacement to Gus Vina, who took a position in Northern California. She was formerly the top administrator in San Juan Capistrano and Del Mar.
Blakespear has credited Brust for navigating the city through a tumultuous period marked by turnover of key staff as she put together her executive team.
The raise will bump Brust’s base compensation to $255,043.86 annually.
“She has done a tremendous job,” City Councilman Tony Kranz added.
Brust also received an additional week of paid vacation as part of her amended contract.
Previously, the council gave Brust a $7,283 raise and a $20,000 contribution to her deferred compensation plan last fall.
The City Council also agreed to a new contract with its employees represented by the Service Employee International Union Local 221 and fire chief officers.
Under the new contracts, those employees will receive 2 percent raises each July 1 between 2019 and 2022, as well as increases to a cash credit that employees can use to purchase health and welfare benefits as part of a flexible benefits plan.
That cash credit starts at $13,300 and increases to $14,200, $14,400, $14,600 and $14,800 over the next four years.
The City Council also voted in closed session to bring back the contract of City Attorney Glenn Sabine with amendments, though the council did not specify what those amendments would be.