Beachfront council meeting will include pay raise, hiring of new city manager – Monterey Herald
SEASIDE — Two items on Seaside City Council’s agenda this week relate to the pending employment of the new city manager — resolutions raising the salary for the position and another approving an appointment and employment contract.
The Town of Seaside announced Friday that Jaime Fontes has received a conditional job offer as the new city manager and the next step will be council action on the two agenda items at its meeting in Thursday.
If both resolutions are approved, that would clear the way for Fontes to begin work on July 1.
Fontes, the former city manager of East Palo Alto, was hired by the City of Bay Area in 2019 and completed his three-year contract which ended April 30.
Former Seaside City Manager Craig Malin resigned and his last day was September 3, 2021. He said after being unable to see his family in the Midwest due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he wanted to spend more time with them.
The city’s director of human resources, Roberta Greathouse, has stepped in as acting city manager since Malin’s departure.
In October, Seaside entered into an agreement with Peckham & McKenney Executive Research to proceed with the recruitment of a new city manager for an amount not to exceed $33,000.
The city recruiter conducted a salary survey and determined that the city’s salary for the city manager was not competitive. The city council authorized a salary increase from $210,000 to $250,000 annually. The increase would take effect on the new employee’s proposed start date.
Seaside will increase the city manager’s operating budget by $40,000 in the 2022-23 fiscal year, according to city documents. City staff recommends reviewing the City Manager’s budget at the annual mid-year budget review meeting and adjusting the budget at that time, if necessary.
Seaside said that during its nationwide recruitment effort and selection process conducted by Peckham & McKenney, a number of applications were received from highly qualified individuals. After the initial selection, the council went through a selection process that included two rounds of interviews with the city council, interviews with the city’s leadership team, reference and background checks, and a leadership assessment.
The City Manager directs and coordinates the operations of the city and assumes leadership of the five-member Seaside City Council.
The City Council appointed the City Manager and sought an experienced candidate who would embrace the diversity of the community and be open to different perspectives while demonstrating strong leadership skills, discipline, integrity, financial understanding and business skills exceptional.
In addition to his work with East Palo Alto, Fontes has served as city manager for the city of Nogales, Arizona, and the cities of Santa Paula and Greenfield, California.
The cities of Seaside and East Palo Alto have similar population sizes and profiles according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s July 2021 population estimates, which put Seaside at 32,085 and East Palo Alto at 28,847. Seaside’s African-American population accounts for 7.4% of the city’s total population, compared to 12.1% for East Palo Alto. Seaside’s Hispanic or Latino population is 44.8%, while in East Palo Alto it is 60.6%. The white population in Seaside is 30.4% and in East Palo Alto 13.2%. Other segments of the population, such as Asians and Pacific Islanders, make up less than 10% each of the two cities’ numbers.
Proposed employment contract for next Seaside City Manager includes annual salary of $250,000, monthly car allowance of $400, temporary monthly housing reimbursement of $1,666.67 for up to one year to help Mr. Fontes relocate, relocate, and live in the town of Seaside, moving expenses must not exceed $12,500, retirement, medical, dental, and time off provisions rates in line with city management team.