Mountain View is handing out pay raises despite recession

Daily Post Staff Writer

Mountain View City Council will likely give raises to City Manager Kimbra McCarthy, City Attorney Krishan Chopra and City Clerk Lisa Natusch at tonight’s (Sept. 22) council meeting.

The raises come at a time when unemployment has hit record levels and businesses are permanently closing due to the recession caused by the coronavirus lockdown. For instance, Yelp said in July that 55% of all businesses that closed on its site during the lockdown will never open again. The state’s unemployment rate was 11.4% in August.

Home loan

But things are different in the city government. A memo from Councilwoman Ellen Kamei says the three top officials should get 3% raises and 40 hours (five days) of paid leave. McCarthy, who was hired earlier this year, will also get a home loan for the median price of a house in Mountain View.

Under the revised pay schedule, McCarthy will make $316,210. Chopra will make $252,350 and Natusch will make $159,073.

The council approved raises for other city workers in April. Police and firefighters got a 4% raise. Police Chief Max Bosel’s total compensation in 2018 was $411,385. Of that, $274,535 was regular pay while the rest was benefits. A 4% increase in his regular pay would boost his pay by about $10,900 a year.

Fire Chief Juan Diaz made $269,528 in regular pay in 2018 and $440,189 when benefits are included. Police Capt. Christopher Hsiung made $243,900 in regular pay and $401,245 including benefits.

Members of the Eagles and SEIU unions, which represent most city workers besides firefighters and police, got 3% raises. The SEIU bargaining unit includes tree trimmers, street maintenance workers, office assistants, dispatchers and clerks. The Eagles bargaining unit includes analysts, accountants, managers, supervisors, civil engineers, deputy and assitant city attorneys and other professionals.

Other cities such as Palo Alto have seen losses in the millions because of the economic downturn caused by the lockdown order over the pandemic. Sales tax and hotel tax revenue has dropped. Next year, when properties are reassessed, revenue from property taxes is expected to drop.

City had big surpluses

Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga said in April Mountain View has been financially responsible for a long time and is not facing the same cuts to services as Palo Alto.

Mountain View had a $99.5 million surplus for the fiscal year that ended in June 2018, and a $117.6 million surplus in the fiscal year ending in June 2019.


  1. Those salaries are obscene. People who actually do and make things don’t get A third of those amounts. How long will we tolerate these remora?

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