EDITOR'S NOTE: City Manager Dave Kiff posted this letter on the city of Newport Beach's website Wednesday evening.
City officials in Bell did a very troubling thing, but one outcome of that situation was not troubling — an increased attention to what public officials earn, particularly during these challenging economic times. For the record, I make $225,000 a year and in return, it's my responsibility to run the day-to-day operations of the city of Newport Beach. This involves overseeing a "full-service" city with a staff of more than 800 full-time employees, about 400 part-time and seasonal employees, and an annual operating budget of $180 million.
In addition to my salary, I also receive benefits, including health care and pension that amount to about $63,000 annually. The city also provides me a car allowance of $500 per month. For many hardworking families, this sounds like a significant salary and benefit package. I want to assure you that I appreciate and value what our community pays me, especially because I'm among the fortunate who get to work at a job they truly enjoy. I understand that my employment here is a privilege and one that I must work hard to maintain.