City manager, attorney get raises

ENCINITAS — The City Council unanimously approved a pair of raises to the lone employees that it hires, the city manager and its longtime city attorney — the latter of whom had not had a raise in 12 years.

The council unanimously adopted a 2 percent raise for City Manager Karen Brust and a $10-per-hour increase in City Attorney Glenn Sabine’s 50-hour monthly retainer and a $20-per-hour increase in his billable rate beyond the retainer.

The increase for Sabine roughly amounts to an additional $33,000 in compensation.

Brust, who was hired in 2015 from San Juan Capistrano, sees her pay increase $4,760 a year to $242,760 retroactive to June 1. Her contract calls for her to receive a $500 a month car allowance and a $100 a month cell phone allowance.

For Sabine, who became the Encinitas city attorney in 1999, this was the first increase to his contract rate since 2005, when the City Council voted to bump his $145-per-hour retainer and $135-per-hour fee for hours worked beyond 50 hours per month to $155 per hour and $145 per hour, respectively.

The council, which said the long gap between raises had created a big disparity between the compensation Sabine receives compared to other contract city attorneys countywide, voted to increase both rates to $165 per hour.

Sabine holds a law degree from Ohio State University and specializes in land-use, planning and municipal law.

He worked for the Best Best & Krieger LLP and McDougal Love Eckis law firms before forming his own firm in San Diego with partner Randall Morrison, a First Amendment specialist.

The City Council has been negotiating the Brust salary and Sabine’s contract since October, and at the Nov. 29 council meeting voted to form a subcommittee to negotiate the increases.

On Dec. 20 the City Council also recognized Brust for receiving an award at the International City and County Management Association conference in October, where she was recognized for 30 years of local government service.

City Councilman Tony Kranz asked that a news release be sent out to media outlets regarding Brust’s honor.

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