On September 2, in a 6-2 vote (Sandra Ibarra and Henry Nickel dissented), San Bernardino City Council authorized an employment agreement for the city manager position, which will be filled by former County of Riverside Assistant Executive Officer Rob Field.
The base salary of the city manager is $285,000 per year and the position may receive management confidential benefits; the city manager will also receive a vehicle allowance.
“I understand the public is very interested in what we’re doing here. It’s not possible to make this a public forum for hiring a city manger. I feel extremely confident in this person and I’m looking forward to his abilities being utilized in our city, especially in the area of redevelopment,” said Councilmember Fred Shorett. “I’m excited about the opportunity, he’s actually had a status with us and he came out with the highest score during our deliberation.”
One council member who respectfully opposed the employment agreement was Henry Nickel.
“Mr. Fields is going to be the highest paid city manager San Bernardino has ever hired and in the top 10 percent of the highest paid city managers in the state. I’m happy to compensate the city manager once they’ve demonstrated that they have earned it,” shared Nickel.
“I’m going to reserve my recommendation of salary until it is proven. Every year he’s going to go through a performance review. I cannot approve a base salary until I see excellent performance,” continued Nickel.
Although Nickel has a few reservations, he is confident that Fields will meet the city’s expectations.
“We have some big projects. California State Assemblymember James Ramos earned the city a few million dollars to update the general plan; it’s a major undertaking to revitalize San Bernardino. We need lots of community outreach and an engaged city manager. My expectation is that he will be seeing that the general plan is completed on time and according to the needs of the community,” concluded Nickel.
At the meeting, Mayor John Valdivia expressed his contentment in regard to Fields joining the city’s team and expressed his appreciation to current City Manager Teri Ledoux, who will only remain in the position for the next few weeks to allow for a smooth transition.
“Mr. Fields, we welcome you to the city and look forward to your leadership. I also want to say thank you to Teri, who will be leaving us in the next few weeks. I want to say thank you very much Teri for all of your hard work over the past year-and-a-half,” Valdivia said.
For more information, visit http://www.ci.san-bernardino.ca.us/.