Political Buzz

Talking WA politics.

NOTICE: Political Buzz has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Political Buzz.
Visit the new section.

Tag: City Manager Eric Anderson

March
21st

Tacoma manager’s raise mentioned in WSJ piece

In case you missed it over the weekend, Tacoma City Manager Eric Anderson got a bit of unwelcome publicity in The Wall Street Journal. In the piece, “Cities Find Cash for Managers’ Raises” Anderson is mentioned as one of several city officials around the nation who’ve received raises during the recession.

From the article:

Handing out raises to civic officials rarely plays well with the public, especially during austere times like these. But dozens of counties, school districts and other entities are doing just that, citing a need to retain experienced people. …

Targeted raises have been granted in

Read more »

Nov.
11th

Tacoma: City manager cashes in on $35,000 per year pay raise

After symbolically forgoing a raise last year because of the recession, Tacoma City Manager Eric Anderson this week cashed in on a big pay hike due to him – almost $35,000 per year.

The 17.4 percent raise in annual pay — triggered by a national study showing the economy is improving — bumps Anderson’s base salary from $200,450 to $235,373.

Anderson

The raise is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2010, meaning that on top of his bigger new salary, Anderson will receive about $32,000 in back pay for this year.

“I appreciate the city council’s commitment to bring me to market as they have and will with everyone else in the organization,” Anderson said Wednesday. “I have to remain committed to earning it every day and working hard to make sure I’m worth it.”

The pay raise comes amid the city’s push to fulfill a promise made two years ago to bring all city employee pay to the 70th percentile of market wages, based on a consultant’s study of Tacoma’s pay rates compared to those in other cities and in some cases the private sector.

It also comes at a time when the area’s unemployment rate is high, local budgets are getting slashed and Anderson is seeking a wage freeze for all city employees, beginning next year.

Had he wanted to, Anderson could have taken a pass on his pay raise again.

He did so in March 2009, volunteering to forgo a raise recommended for him under the pay study. Given the recession and the city’s uncertain budget situation at the time, Anderson had said it would be better “fiscally and symbolically” not to accept the pay raise then.
Read more »

Aug.
18th

Tacoma budget discussion grows testy between city manager, council

A snit over budget plans emerged during Tuesday’s Tacoma City Council study session, after several council members raised questions and concerns to City Manager Eric Anderson about his strategy to help balance the 2011-12 budget.

Anderson seeks a strategy to refinance current debts and take on new debt for some new purchases as a way to avoid making tens of millions in hard general fund cuts.

Some council members asked Anderson to bring forward an alternative plan, showing what cuts he would make in lieu of the refinancing strategy. That led Anderson to warn the council that the option he presented is under a time crunch. By dragging out its approval, he said, the council could be hurting the city’s ability to maximize savings.

“I don’t think what the council has grasped — we don’t have a lot of time to consider sequentially a lot of alternatives,” Anderson said.

Anderson added the alternative to his re-fi plan is making an additional $22 million in cuts (or 220 layoffs) to the city’s general fund on top of an undisclosed amount of cuts – likely in the tens of millions of dollars – already planned due to projected revenue declines.

“If we have to make $22 million in addition to what we’re looking at, we would be into (cuts to the) police and fire (departments),” he said.

But Mayor Marilyn Strickland asked for a more detailed plan of potential cuts, noting that “we have options; it’s a big budget.”

“I don’t think it’s unrealistic to ask for information,” Strickland added later during the meeting.
Read more »

Aug.
16th

Tacoma City Council evaluates City Manager Eric Anderson

Tacoma’s city council gave the city manager generally high marks in a recently completed performance evaluation, citing Eric Anderson’s overall organization, public relations and work with state and federal officials among his strengths.

Anderson’s latest annual report card – his fifth overall – also stresses the city manager has “demonstrated a solid understanding” of budget issues during tough economic times.

Anderson

“Several evaluators expressed that fiscal management is just one of the City Manager’s strengths,” the report said.

But council members also identified areas for improvement, focusing on Anderson’s communication with the council about budget issues, projects and other major policy decisions. Several comments in the report described Anderson needing to do a better job of giving the council more details, options and advance notice on issues so that the council isn’t backed into corners in its decision-making.

“Overall, I think we’re pleased with his performance,” Mayor Marilyn Strickland said. “But by their very nature, evaluations are meant to improve performance.”

(Here’s a copy of the evaluation.)

Read more »