Some city jobs come with long hours

“We need to add police and firefighters and we need to add sanitation workers to speed trash pickup, and employees to do upkeep on our alleys.” Raymond Mondragon, city manager

By Jack King: CNJ staff writer

Clovis officials say overtime and longevity are the most important factors in determining the size of employees’ salaries.

Assistant City Finance Director Leighann Melancon said, under the city’s salary model, employees get raises based on annual evaluation scores. Raises are in given percentages, so those with higher base salaries can receive higher raises, she said.

Finance Director Don Clifton said the city paid $411,000 in overtime and $225,000 in holiday pay in 2003.

Clifton said police and firefighters are among the highest-paid city employees because of their long hours.
Firefighters average 56 hours a week. Fire Department overtime averages $236,000 a year, he said.

Assistant City Manager Joe Thomas said police officers’ pay is based on a 40-hour work week, but overtime is frequent.

“They may go a while with only a few hours, then there is a major incident and they’ll get 20 hours of overtime in a few days,” he said.

Mondragon said he believes the city needs to add workers and cut overtime. Department heads gave him about $1.4 million in personnel requests this year, he said. But the city doesn’t have the funds to honor all those requests.

When it does add workers, those additions should be targeted at specific needs, he said.

“We need to add police and firefighters and we need to add sanitation workers to speed trash pickup, and employees to do upkeep on our alleys,” he said.