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Rohnert Park City Council OKs city manager pick

A 10-year veteran of Rohnert Park government was appointed city manager Tuesday on a 4-0 vote, with one council member abstaining from the vote over concerns about the proposed salary package.

Darrin Jenkins, assistant city manager and, over the past month, interim city manager, will be paid $189,000 to start, $24,000 more than his predecessor, who left for another position Nov. 6.

There was no suspense about the vote. No candidate search was done and city officials had put out a press release Monday under Mayor Pam Stafford's name praising Jenkins.

But Councilwoman Gina Belforte said she could not vote for Jenkins with his attendant salary.

"Darrin, I think you're going to do a good job, and if I could vote just for you, I would ... and you'd get a yes," Belforte said.

"But based on where we stand today with our finances, based on the heels of Measure A, I can't support the contract," Belforte said, referring to the indefinite extension of a half-cent city sales tax that voters approved Nov. 5.

Jenkins also has been the city's engineer, public works director and development services director.

His contract includes a $398 monthly vehicle allowance, but also a key concession: the exclusion of retiree medical benefits. That will save the city more than $200,000 in future premiums, Stafford said.

"We have a committed person here, a person who knows this community," Stafford said Tuesday.

Stafford and Vice Mayor Joe Callinan negotiated the contract.

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