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Petaluma City Manager John Brown gets extension to 2019

  • 11/14/2010: A1:

    PC: 1 of 1--John Brown is the new city manager for Petaluma. April 15, 2008. The Press Democrat / Jeff Kan Lee

Petaluma's top administrator will be sticking around for a while.

The Petaluma City Council Monday night approved an amended contract for City Manager John Brown to remain on the job through June 2019.

The unanimous vote comes in stark contrast to the vote that brought Brown into town in 2008, when a sharply divided council voted 4-3 to hire him.

Councilwoman Teresa Barrett, who voted against hiring Brown then, said Brown convinced her he was the right man for the job.

"He has done, I think, an excellent job in guiding the city through some hard times and some difficult decisions," she said, adding that those times probably aren't over. "I'm very confident going forward with John Brown as our city manager."

The six-year contract comes with no raise -- in fact, Brown's base wage of $208,000 is the same as the day he started five years ago. He would receive a raise of the same percentage if other city directors' salaries are increased.

In 2010, Brown took a 3 percent pay cut for 18 months, consistent with furloughs other city employees took.

Brown, who has 30 years of experience in municipal government, is among the highest paid members of Sonoma County government. County Administrator Veronica Ferguson leads the pack, at about $304,000 including benefits and paid retirement, according to the most recent data available.

Brown outpaces Santa Rosa City Manager Kathy Millison in total compensation package, although his base pay is slightly less than hers. In total, Brown's compensation is about $262,000 compared to Millison's $252,000, according to 2011 figures cities provided the state controller's office.

Petaluma is required to give Brown 60 days' notice if it intends to terminate him without cause before the contract is up. He would be entitled to seven months' pay and benefits if he were fired without cause.


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