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Acting County Manager's Contract Goes Up For Approval

County will pay John Maltbie $100 per hour, on top of his more than $130,000 yearly retirement package, to resume his former job.

Former County Manager John Maltbie will be re-hired to his old job Tuesday, under an approval by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors of his proposed contract.

Board President Carole Groom announced earlier this month that Maltbie, who retired from the post in 2008, will serve in an interim role until a full-time replacement for previous County Manager David Boesch is located.

Boesch, who was hired to replace Maltbie, unexpectedly resigned from the job last month due to ongoing disputes with the Board of Supervisors regarding how to cope with the county's $50 million deficit.

Maltbie is “the ideal person to help us move forward," said Groom in a prepared statement.

He will be paid $100 per hour during the time he works in the interim role, according to a contract negotiated by Supervisors Dave Pine and Adrienne Tissier.

The county has set aside $96,000 from its upcoming budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year as a maximum annual salary to Maltbie, according to a public memo.

That compensation will come in addition to the $11,079 per month he is currently being paid by the county as a retirement benefit for his nearly 20 years of employment.

That equates to approximately $132,948 that Maltbie receives annually in retirement pay from the county.

According to the new contract, Maltbie will not be able to accrue additional pension pay during his time in the interim role. As well, he will not be offered paid vacation time, or health benefits.

He will re-join the county during a time when supervisors and staff are grappling with a budget gap that is expected to continue growing over the course of the coming years.

As well, Maltbie will be required to negotiate complexities related to the effort by Sheriff Greg Munks to build a new county jail in Redwood City.

Last month, the board approved moving forward with a plan to build a jail that can house between 488 and 522 prisoners on 4.8 acres of previously purchased property east of Highway 101 on Chemical Way.

The total cost of building the new jail is expected to be between $100 and $165 million, and the annual operating expense is projected to be about $44 million, according to a public documents.

The county recently learned that it would not be eligible to receive millions of dollars of grant money that Sheriff Munks had hoped would go to pay for the jail's construction.

Furthermore, Maltbie will be retaking the reigns during an era when some local cities are beginning to look toward a regional approach to providing emergency services such as law enforcement and fire protection.

This increasingly popular movement, which is intended to generate savings for cash-strapped cities, has resulted in an increased role for the county.

San Carlos, where Maltbie's son Jeff serves as City Manager, is an example of a local city that elected to fold its police and fire departments into larger agencies in order to save money.

Last year the county sheriff's department began patrolling in San Carlos to fill the void left by its collapsed police agency, and the city's fire fighters recently transitioned into a hybrid department along with neighboring Redwood City.

Despite the variety of challenges he is facing, Maltbie is prepared to resume his former post.

“I am looking forward to serving the residents of San Mateo County to the best of my abilities,” Maltbie said in a statement.

The County also plans to initiate a nationwide search for candidates to permanently fill the County Manager position, according to public documents.

The Board of Supervisors will vote on whether to approve the proposed contract for Maltbie at a special meeting Tuesday morning that will begin at 9 a.m. in the Board Chambers located at 400 County Center in Redwood City.

Anjessello November 30, 2011 at 12:00 AM
As soon as money comes into play, everything changes about the person. Wether he's good for it or not, should he deserve that much for the position. Man, he makes more than a P.A. If there's no benefits, then he pays no taxes out of his pay check - it's a full $000.00. What's the minimum age requirement for this position? They should look for me to sit and do all that thinking. Hey, we need a new jail or not, it's fine with me.
DanC November 30, 2011 at 01:48 AM
What is this twisted logic? If you didn't hire John Maltbie you would have to hire a new person at 2-3X therefore we've saved $150K per year. Whew!!! That's like Blondie coming home with arms full of hat boxes, dresses, coats, and telling Dagwood "Look how much I saved at Tudbury's today".
pearl November 30, 2011 at 05:54 AM
Ah, I see the good-old-boy/girl network is alive and well in San Mateo County government. That network's gotta be voted out of office, or we taxpayers are going to continue being the victims of irresponsible political decisions made by our Board of Supervisors...like hiring back the County Manager who got us deep in debt in the first place! (BTW, interesting to note his son is the San Carlos City Manager. One wonders the politics behind that.)
Bill Baker November 30, 2011 at 07:09 PM
Want better results, enlightened thinking and a government taxpayers can afford? Elect a new generation of Supervisors and a new Sheriff with no connection to the present political machine and no ties to the scandals that have plagued and seriously damaged San Mateo County's government during their multi decade control of County government.
DanC December 01, 2011 at 05:47 AM
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