By KAREN VELIE
In a 4-1 vote with Director Chuck Cesena dissenting, the Los Osos Community Services District voted on Thursday evening to increase the pay of its general manager by 23 percent. An increase in pay one district board member argued on Facebook was not a raise.
On Wednesday, Director Jon Erik Storm wrote that an article on Cal Coast Times informing the public of the boards plan to increase district Manger Renee Osborne’s pay from $78,024 to $98,000 a year less than three months after a 65 percent water rate increase went into effect was misleading.
“Something I’ll never understand about our local politics is what the purpose of publishing misleading blog entires [sic] just to stir people up is,” Storm wrote on Facebook. “This morning, I see the LOCSD has been said to be giving it’s GM a 23% raise. Except that’s not correct. We are bringing Renee on for more time at the same rate.”
In its headline, the Cal Coast Times article said the board was considering a “23 percent pay increase.” The article went of to discuss the increase in hours.
“District staff is recommending the increase in pay to provide compensation for moving from a part-time manager position to a full-time position, according to the staff report,” the Cal Coast Times article said. “If the new contract is approved, Osborne’s salary will increase from $6,502 a month to $8,010 a month.”
In his Facebook post, Storm suggests that the manager’s salary is going up to cover five extra hours a week at $20 an hour.
However, moving from 35 to 40 hours a week would be a 12.5 percent increase in hours, while Osborne is receiving a 23 percent increase in pay.
In addition, a person paid $20 an hour for 40 hours a week would make $3,200 a month. At $8,010 a month, Osborne’s salary breaks down to $50.06 an hour
Osborne also questions the reason to publish an article informing the public of the board’s plan to increase Osborne’s salary less than a year after she was hired.
“Seriously. What’s the purpose? I don’t get it,” Storm wrote on Facebook. “Election after election, the voters have made it clear that they support what we’re doing and want our basin protected and they want value. Even our rate hikes have had vanishingly low numbers against them. Are we all going to be proved wrong one day? Heh.
“It gets funnier every time, so pardon me if I have a wry smile during our meetings.”