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Tacoma: Outgoing deputy city manager to receive $66k in severance, accrued leave pay

Post by Lewis Kamb / The News Tribune on May 2, 2012 at 5:43 pm | No Comments »
May 3, 2012 10:24 am

Tacoma’s outgoing Deputy City Manager Rey Arellano will receive about $66,000 in severance and accrued time off pay under terms of his recent resignation.

An April 16 memo to Arellano from City Manager T.C. Broadnax, obtained under the state’s public disclosure act,  spelled out the financial terms of Arellano’s severance.

“…I will be granting you two months of severance benefits, to be paid with your final paycheck,” Broadnax’s memo states. “With the 9.6% temporary pay reduction, the severance will be $31,917.66.”

In addition to his severance pay, Arellano also will be allowed to use about 362 hours of accrued vacation and holiday time to remain on the city’s payroll through July 17.  

Through that date, he will be paid his regular hourly city wage of $92.07, meaning he’ll receive more than $33,000.   As Arellano will earn two more holidays during that time span, he’ll also be paid an additional $910.

The memo also noted the departing executive will be eligible for up to $3,750 for job training to be paid by the city.

“(T)he City will pay, not to exceed, $3,750.00 for the Brighton Group Career Transition & Executive Coaching Program Campaign Level I, including up to 15 hours of one-on-one coaching, commencing May 4, 2012, for up to six months (through November 3, 2012),” the memo states.

Arellano’s nearly $32,000 in severance pay isn’t a contractual obligation.  Broadnax has the authority to grant that pay to Arellano under a provision in city code, which states:

Whenever the City Manager or the Director of Utilities identifies positions for elimination as part of departmental reorganization, streamlining, elimination of duplication, layoff, or other such efforts, the City Manager or the Director of Utilities also shall each have discretion to authorize the payment of severance benefits or retirement incentives up to the limits of their delegated contracting authority; provided, that payment can lawfully be made from funds appropriated in the currentbiennial budget of the employing department.

City spokesman Rob McNair-Huff said today the “code offers some guidance of what’s made available to employees in a situation like this.”

As we reported earlier this week, Arellano’s last day in City Hall will be Friday.  He told The News Tribune he’s leaving Tacoma to pursue city manager opportunities elsewhere.

Hired as a deputy in 2006,  Arellano served six months as Tacoma’s Interim City Manager after the City Council ousted City Manager Eric Anderson last July. But Arellano fell short of being named the permanent replacement for Anderson when the council chose Broadnax over him and fellow finalist, Lakewood City Manager Andrew Neiditz, following a national search.

Arellano, who said he doesn’t currently have a job lined up and plans to stay in Tacoma in the short term, described the decision for his departure as a mutual one made with Broadnax.  

After Arellano leaves the city, Broadnax stated in an email to employees that he intends to eliminate the Deputy Manager position, which paid Arellano $191,505 annually. During his six-month stint as interim manager, Arellano’s pay had been bumped to about $210,000 per year, McNair-Huff said.

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