Vina looks to head north for city manager position

ENCINITAS — Encinitas City Manager Gus Vina is headed to the Northern California city of Brentwood, according to a report scheduled to be discussed at the city’s council meeting Tuesday night.

The Brentwood City Council was slated to vote on Vina’s contract at its Dec. 23 council meeting.

Brentwood is a fast-growing city of 55,000 people in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, in Contra Costa County.

Though not a coastal community, Brentwood shares a number of demographic and cultural similarities to Encinitas. The cities have virtually identical median household incomes — Brentwood’s is $91,475, Encinitas’ is $91,795 — and both cities are know for their visual and performing arts communities.

Brentwood is 27 miles west of Stockton, where Vina was a longtime employee before moving on to Sacramento, where he served as interim city manager prior to being tapped to lead Encinitas day-to-day operations.

Vina’s proposed contract with Brentwood includes $234,387 in base pay — nearly $20,000 more than his current $216,000 base salary — and also includes a $700 monthly “management incentive pay” that boosts his pay by $8,400 annually.

The city will also reimburse Vina for up to $10,000 in relocation expenses and pay him a $2,000-a-month temporary housing allowance for six months to offset rental costs if he has to pay rent in both San Diego and Contra Costa County.

His pension will be based on a 2-percent-at-60 plan — in layman’s terms, upon retirement, Vina would receive two percent of his highest salary times every year of service and could retire at age 60. He is required to pay 7 percent of his 8 percent employee pension contribution.

Currently, Vina’s pension plan based on a 2.7-percent-at-55 formula, slightly better than his new city, but that is offset by the fact that he currently pays his entire 8 percent contribution.

Brentwood began its search for a city manager in June, when former City Manager Paul Eldredge resigned to take a job with Union Sanitary District of Alameda County. Brentwood first contracted with the firm Management Partners for interim management services and selected Steve Salamon, the longtime city manager of Visalia, as its interim manager.

After a request for proposals, Brentwood then hired the Sacramento-based firm Peckham and McKinney to run its recruitment for a permanent manager. Encinitas also used Peckham and McKinney in the search that yielded Vina to replace former City Manager Phil Cotton.

Vina was one of six finalists for the position.

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