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SLO City increases attorney salary

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On April 17, the San Luis Obispo City Council approved a salary increase for its city attorney.

City Attorney Christine Dietrick didn’t speak as the council voted 4-1—with Councilman Dan Carpenter dissenting—to pass a resolution increasing her salary by 3.5 percent. She voluntarily turned down a performance-based raise in 2011.

The bump comes after Dietrick was rated “highly competent” in a 2012 performance evaluation and considered for a pay-for-performance increase, the guidelines for which allow for an increase in the range of 3.5 to 5 percent based on her rating.

The increase brings her salary to $160,437.

The pay-for-performance system was adopted by the city in 1996 to “provide an incentive for continuous improvement and sustained high performance,” according to a staff report. The performance-based system differs from the “step” system used by other employee groups where employees’ pay moves through fixed salary ranges.

Council members and City Manager Katie Lichtig didn’t recommend a change to Lichtig’s salary, however, because she was hired at a fixed salary.

“The reason I support this is that Ms. Dietrick’s performance has been stellar,” said Councilman Andrew Carter.

“I will be voting no on this item,” Carpenter said before the roll call vote. “And it has nothing to do with [Dietrick’s] performance, but everything to do with this very sensitive time.”

Her new salary is effective April 12.

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