The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed Tuesday to pay interim County Manager John Maltbie $100 per hour to do the job he retired from in 2008.
Under the approval, Maltbie will be eligible to receive as much as $96,000 in compensation over the course of the next fiscal year while he serves as a temporary replacement for former County Manager David Boesch, who abruptly resigned last month.
That sum will come in addition to the approximately $132,948 worth of annual retirement benefits that the county currently pays to Maltbie, which he accrued over the course of nearly 20 years of employment as County Manager.
In all, Maltbie stands to earn up to approximately $228,948 this year.
Maltbie will not be eligible to earn additional pension pay during his time filling the interim role. As well, the county will not offer him health coverage or paid vacation time off work, according to the contract that that was approved at a special meeting Tuesday morning in Redwood City.
He must also work less than 960 hours over the course of a fiscal year in order to continue collecting his retirement benefits.
County Attorney John Beiers expressed his support for the contract to the board, and commended Maltbie for the "gracious concessions" he made during the bargaining process by agreeing to a salary that would cost the county less than $200,000 annually.
He did not address the existing retirement pay that Maltbie receives from the county.
Maltbie will officially begin work Thursday, at which time he will be forced to grapple with the county's current $50 million budget deficit.
Boesch elected to tender his resignation due to differences of opinion with the board regarding strategies to shrink the spending gap.
In 2008, Boesch left his job as City Manager of Menlo Park in order to fill the vacancy in the county office left by Maltbie's retirement.
Earlier this month, Board President Carole Groom announced the County's intention to appoint Maltbie to the role of interim County Manager. But the supervisors needed to officially approve his contract before he could begin working.
Concurrent with Maltbie's hiring, the county will undertake a nationwide search to locate a permanent County Manager, according to public documents.
Maltbie was absent from Tuesday's meeting, and the board did not discuss the contract before taking action.
No members of the public attended the meeting that was held in the Board Chambers at 400 County Center in Redwood City.
But on Patch web sites up and down the Peninsula, local residents expressed their frustration with the compensation included in Maltbie's contract.
"What a joke," said Jennifer Tegnerud. "Maybe they should look at these crazy pensions and salaries as a first priority to reducing the county's debt."
Rebecca Anwar shared a similar sentiment.
"Schools are having budget cuts, look at his hourly wage and retirement package. What a shame," she said.
And Carolyn Varner noted that the board approved rehiring Maltbie at a time when local jurisdictions are looking to consolidate or outsource public safety departments in order to save money.
San Carlos, where Maltbie's son Jeff serves as City Manager, is one of the local cities that cut costs by dissolving its police department and hiring the County Sheriff's Office to provide law enforcement services.
At Tuesday's meeting, Supervisor Rose Jacobs Gibson commended fellow Supervisors Adrienne Tissier and Dave Pine for taking the lead on negotiating Maltbie's contract.
"They did a great job," she said.