Council to decide on new city manager contract at Tuesday’s meeting

The Claremont City Council is set to vote on the terms of a three-year contract for incoming city manager Tara Schultz. Ms. Schultz was selected by city staff after a review by a citizens’ panel, a professional panel and the city council.

Under the terms of the contract, Ms. Schultz will be paid $211,000 annually, including a $1,000 per month paid into the city’s deferred compensation plan. The city will also contribute $1,294 per month for vision, dental and health insurance, and Ms. Schultz will be allowed to keep the remainder if she does not use the full amount.

In total, the city estimates cost of the employment agreement at $314,056, including salary, $64,224 in CalPERS retirement, $15,528 in health benefit cafeteria allowance, $12,000 in deferred compensation, $5,400 in auto allowances, and $5,904 in Medicare, life insurance, and long-term disability benefits.

Ms. Schultz will pay about seven percent of her salary to her CalPERS retirement benefits. She will receive a $450 auto allowance per month, the contract states, as well as three weeks’ vacation time per year.

The city also notes that the total cost of the recruitment process, including negotiating and preparing the employment agreement and the report, amounted to $17,884.

At the end of 2015, outgoing City Manager Tony Ramos received a one-time bonus of $28,646, which included a $17,467 merit award equal to eight percent of his annual salary, plus a cash-out of 100 hours of leave pay, or $11,179, according to city records. His total pay and benefits for 2015 was $334,223, up from $331,356 in 2014.

Ms. Schultz comes to Claremont from the city of Alhambra, where she served as assistant city manager. Ms. Schultz, a Pasadena resident, also worked for the city of Sierra Madre before coming to Alhambra in 1999.

She is expected to assume her duties on February 5, the city said.


Temporary art installation at city hall

The city council will also look at a proposed art installation in front of city hall that will take the place of a fallen tree.

The installation, by Los Angeles-based artist Sijia Chen, is a “minimalist and abstract interpretation of a tree trunk,” the city said, that will take the spot where a red bark tree stood before it was removed in 2015. Ms. Chen notes that the sculpture will have three unpainted curved steel panels placed together, with the option of engravings on the side.

The sculpture will be about 10 to 11 feet tall with a nine-to-10 foot width.

In her proposal, Ms. Chen noted she wanted to capture Claremont’s “rich and vibrant cultural values” in her work.

“For this project, taking into consideration it will be in an outdoor setting, I wanted to address the significance of trees and citrus plants in defining Claremont’s landscape,” she wrote. “My intent is to acknowledge the history of the project’s location, to encourage interaction and engagement with the public and to contribute to Claremont’s cultural history and community.”

A request for proposals was sent out by the city in September 2017, with a deadline of October 2017. An ad hoc committee convened by the city’s public art commission selected Ms. Chen’s submission from six total applicants.

The cost of installing the piece will be $15,000, taken from the city’s public art fund—$10,000 for the artist agreement with Ms. Chen and $5,000 to prepare the site, the city says.

The city council meeting will be on Tuesday, January 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the city council chambers, 225 Second Street. The meeting is open to the public.

—Matthew Bramlett


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