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  Richmond City Manager to Stay for Five More Years
December 10, 2010

Richmond city manager to stay for five more years

By Katherine Tam
Contra Costa Times

Posted: 12/08/2010 03:45:02 PM PST
Updated: 12/09/2010 10:15:19 AM PST

Richmond's city manager, who is credited with helping to get the city's finances back into shape, is here to stay for five more years.
The City Council on Tuesday approved a contract with Bill Lindsay that ensures he will remain at the helm of Contra Costa's second-largest city until February 2016.
Lindsay's existing three-year contract, which ends Feb. 13, includes a 5 percent pay increase for 2011 that will bring his salary to $22,548 a month, or $270,572 a year.
The new agreement starts Feb. 14. Lindsay will earn an annual raise if he receives a good performance review and if the two unions representing mid-level managers and rank-and-file employees, excluding police and fire, at City Hall also get cost-of-living increases, an uncommon contract provision.
The raise would be the same as the employees, or an average of what the two unions receive if the amounts are different.
"We want to cautiously approach budgetary matters," Mayor Gayle McLaughlin said.
Both union contracts do not include scheduled salary increases and are effective through summer 2012.
"I'm in the same boat they are and I think that's fair," Lindsay said. "I shouldn't get one (a raise) if they're not getting one."
The city will pay $22,000 a year into Lindsay's deferred compensation account, which is a retirement package. He will receive a $500 car allowance and $100 cell phone allowance each month.
Lindsay came to Richmond in 2005 as the city struggled to claw its way out of a financial hole. A state audit found poor fiscal management and overspending were to blame for a $35 million budget crisis in 2004 that resulted in 300 workers being laid off and cuts to public services.
Lindsay hired new department heads, among them Assistant City Manager Leslie Knight, Finance Director Jim Goins and Police Chief Chris Magnus. The city restored most services that were cut and passed balanced budgets with few layoffs, even as the economic downturn struck. The city regained a favorable bond rating and completed a number of projects, including the renovation of Civic Center.
"He is playing a major role in moving Richmond in a positive direction," McLaughlin said.
Over the next five years, Lindsay said he wants Richmond to become a healthier community with less crime and blight, good infrastructure, more jobs, more recreational opportunities and a more robust downtown.
He and others are lobbying to make Richmond home of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab's second campus, a project that would create jobs not only in the construction but also on campus, ranging from lab technicians to administrative support. The lab has a history of producing spinoff green businesses.
"It also has an effect on Richmond's image and what we want to try to become: a Bay Area center for green-tech industry," Lindsay said.
Lindsay is among the higher paid city managers in Contra Costa, but he's not the highest. San Ramon, which has half Richmond's population, pays its city manager the most at nearly $360,000 a year, according to the Bay Area News Group public employee salary database. Hercules's city manager was paid $278,568 in 2009.
Elsewhere in the East Bay in 2009, Oakland paid its city manager about $250,000; Berkeley, $249,000; Walnut Creek, $230,000 and Pinole, $180,000. The city manager in Concord, Contra Costa's largest city, will be paid $248,350 this fiscal year, after furloughs are accounted for.
Staff writers Tom Lochner, Jonathan Morales and Paul Thissen contributed to this report.