Newly hired Oakdale City Manager Bryan Whitemyer accepted concessions in retirement benefits of the four-year $160,500 annual salary employment contract and far less in total compensation than his predecessor to come over from the City of Hughson and assist the budget-strapped city of Oakdale.
On Feb. 4, Whitemyer, 37, will be brought in under the city’s second tier retirement system under the 2@60 PERS formula and will pay the entire portion of his pension contribution.
In July 2011, Oakdale changed its PERS retirement for miscellaneous employees from the two-and-a-half percent per year of service and eligibility at 55 years old formula to a higher retirement age of 60 and only two percent for each year of service. The new second tier also requires the employee to pay their whole share, compared to the city paying a majority of the employee’s portion as it does for employees hired before 2011.
“It was something I had to take into account,” said Whitemyer, who was working under a more lucrative 2.7@55 formula with Hughson. “I feel the city (of Oakdale) has given me a good compensation package to make the adjustment.”
By statute, Whitemyer will still be credited for the higher percentage for those years he worked under higher more lucrative formulas.
Oakdale Mayor Pat Paul said there was an urgency to also have Whitemyer signed prior to 2013 to allow the city to have additional flexibility to CalPERS to achieve cost sharing with the other cities that have already contributed to Whitemyer’s retirement. According to Paul, had the contract been signed after 2013 began, new reform laws would have required Oakdale, as the employing city, to fund more into the retirement account.
Whitemyer’s total compensation package is nowhere near former City Manager Steve Hallam’s $226,000 figure that included over $23,000 for a medical plan payment. When the city terminated Hallam in April 2011, the city also paid him $175,090 in severance pay for his accumulated leave time, including $32,246 for sick time, $9,297 for management leave and $27,028 for vacation time.
Whitemyer does receive various forms of leave time but with “use it or lose it” stipulations and may only carry a maximum of 15 days of executive time and 640 hours of vacation.
In a three-year period from 2009 to 2011, Oakdale paid out nearly $1.9 million to departing employees and cited these “unfunded liabilities” as part of the cause of current budget problems.
In addition to an annual salary, Whitemyer will receive a $400 per month car allowance, $85 cell phone-technology stipend and the same medical, dental, and vision benefits as other city employees.