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Lodi City Council boosts utility salaries to entice applicants

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Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013 12:00 am

The Lodi City Council approved a resolution last week to increase the salaries for four positions at Lodi Electric Utility. City officials hope the move will entice more applicants with the right qualifications to consider working in Lodi.

Four jobs — including the electric operations superintendent, the manager of engineering and operations, rates and resources engineer and the senior power engineer — will receive a 15 percent raise.

The electric utility director will receive a 5 percent raise to $162,747 to keep an appropriate salary separation, said Ayers.

The following jobs received 15 percent raises:

Manager of engineering and operations. (This job is not currently open.)

Current salary: $99,324

New salary: $113,532

The electric operations superintendent assigns and supervises the department. It requires an associate's degree in electrical engineering or a similar field, along with five years of experience in operations and maintenance.

Current salary: $99,324

New salary: $113,532

The rates and resources engineer works with bulk power supplied and delivery resources, and creates rate schedules. It requires a bachelor's degree in an analytical field and five years of experience.

Current salary: $99,324

New salary: $113,532

The senior power engineer performs planning, construction and maintenance of electric utility systems. It requires registration as a Professional Electrical Engineer, a bachelor's degree and at least four years of experience in the field.

Current salary: $88,267

New salary: $101,507

The total annual cost of the increases is $61,750, which will be absorbed in the department's budget.

The council voted 4-0 in favor of the resolution. Councilman Bob Johnson was absent. Electricity rates will not increase as a result of this salary change, said Deputy City Manager Jordan Ayers.

"We want to make the positions more comparable to other positions in the industry," he said. "We want to entice people to come here and stay here."

Three of the five positions have gone unfilled for several months, leaving others in the department to pick up the slack.

The gaps in the roster have not gone unnoticed, said Councilman Larry Hansen.

"We have not been able to fill these positions. One person left after a year for a higher salary with another agency. It shows we can't attract good people, and we can't keep them when we do get them on board," he said.

The jobs will be posted on www.lodi.gov within the week.

Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at sarap@lodinews.com.

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4 comments:

  • Doug Chaney posted at 6:58 am on Fri, Mar 1, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 499

    And as far as LEUD goes, there is something going on there also that doesn't meet the eye. Why was Mr. Lechner absolved from his post at the electric utility and transferred to a good ol' boy position at city hall, a newly created position at that with a $90,000 salary plus benefits amounting to well over $100,000? I thought he was the "brilliant young shining star of Lodi electric? And all of a sudden three upper tier employees and the director get a huge raise in these budget watching times? Wouldn't that LEUD money be better spent on badly needed hew infrastructure or lowering the Lodi residential rates to their residential customers? Aren't we the owners, not city of Lodi, Larry Hansen and his dysfunctional NCPA, with one of their "family", Ms. Kirkley, as director? And Larry Hansen as chairman of the board of directors? It seems the purpose of LEUD is to give next to nothing power to the businesses that they keep scaring us with the "they will leave" if we don't pander to them at the expense of residential ratepayers. Lodi has the highest residential rates at 23kwh while the national average is 9kwh and many states still have 6-8kwh. Why is that? With its decrepit delivery system and only one way to feed the city of Lodi from PGE lines, what should happen if PGE has a problem? There will be absolutely electric power delivery to Lodi electric and if you don't have an emergency generator you could be in trouble. Why isn't this a priority for LEUD rather than supporting the commercial/industrial users, many of which are also the biggest wasters of both water and electricity? The residential ratepayers of LEUD are subsidizing the dirt cheap electric rates given to those they always pander to. Many of those are large contributors to their campaign funds as you can see by the roster of names and their contribution amounts. Just how many others at city hall gleaned raises while maintenance and some staff jobs are fired or laid off?

     
  • Doug Chaney posted at 6:16 am on Fri, Mar 1, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 499

    Mr. Bitz, when do you see any comprehensive coverage on any Lodi city council meetings, like the Sentinel gives a detailed report on Galt city council and their school board meetings and gossip every week. It's as if Lodi is only secondary to their pandering to the Galt readers to keep their paper from being extinct. Also well hidden from the Lodi public was the fact that the Lodi city council let the two local developers, Gillespie and Doucette from FCB, out of their contracts for Reynolds Ranch and the two southwest Gateway housing projects. Now I see FCB has applied to again develop land in SJ county after being excused from his contractual agreement with the city of Lodi with no excuse other than making a bad business decision. It seems if you are well connected i Lodi, part of the good ol' boys, there are no ramifications if you make a mistake such as this, or any mistake at all. The Lodi News Sentinel is guilty of stifling this information and not sharing public information with its readers just to protect the "upper" echelon of Lodi.Along with those Tuesday 7AM meetings, I call them secret, for the fact that most public work or have other obligations that don not permit them to attend that early, and in which very important issues are put on the agenda and passed without any public input at all. This is just another way controls its public and the way they govern.

     
  • roy bitz posted at 8:06 pm on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    roy bitz Posts: 489

    "Three of five positions have gone unfilled for months---now these positions will be posted on Lodi.gov within the week according to the article. Why now---after months?

     
  • Doug Chaney posted at 3:39 pm on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 499

    HUH? ! 15% raise on an already $100,000 salary?

     

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