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Alhambra city manager leaving for Santa Clara

Santa Clara City Council voted Tuesday to hire Alhambra City Manager Julio Fuentes. Fuentes will leave Alhambra at the end of January and take the position of Santa Clara City Manager on Feb. 4.

City officials said they were attracted to Fuentes, who was city manager for 20 years, because of his ability to bring business opportunities to Alhambra.

Fuentes will earn $290,000 a year at his new position, along with an additional $29,000 for moving and housing and an auto allowance of $6,460 a year. Santa Clara's City Manager salary was in the top 15 out of more than 450 cities statewide in 2010, according to the state comptroller's office. (Compton's City Manager topped the list). Fuentes earned a base salary of $210,000 in 2010. 

Fuentes told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that he'll miss Alhambra but is looking forward to the change. "It's a very pretty city and a very accomplished community and there are a lot of incredible things that are provided in that community," Fuentes said. "So it's certainly a very good opportunity."

Alhambra council members have not discussed Fuentes' replacement but will likely choose from three city employees in the interim, according to the Tribune. Mayor Barbara Messina said they will discuss the issue at their Dec. 10 meeting. 

Read Fuentes' contract with the city of Santa Clara below or download it with the controls at the bottom. 

Julio Fuentes' contract with the city of Santa Clara

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4 thoughts on “Alhambra city manager leaving for Santa Clara”

  1. Julio will get a 28% pay increase – to $290,000 – by moving to Santa Clara City Hall. I think it would be hard for anyone to turn down that kind of pay bump.

    The amount, as well as the big increase, begs the question about whether city managers are overpaid and whether this kind of pay disparity/poaching is ultimately a zero sum game. In 2010, city managers in California earned on average $178,000. The best paid city manager earned $358,000.

    After all, this is government we’re talking about and city managers, like all government employees, get generous retirement packages/pensions. For example, Julio was eligible to retire from Alhambra (he’s over 55). His pension formula in 2010 was [email protected] – or stated another way, he was eligible to retire at 2.7% times his final salary times his years served in government. Considering only his time as city manager (and not time in earlier positions), his pension would have paid him over $110,000 a year in retirement, with some adjustments (Calpers calculator).

    Data is available in a Google Docs fusion table, and was imported from the State Controller’s Office.

    Ultimately, I hope and expect Alhambra will not join a race to the bottom and increase the amount it allocates to pay the next city manager.

  2. From the south end

    How many of you wanna’ bet Paulson Jr. gets the lucrative gig?

    Alhambra’s motto should be changed to, “The Gateway to Family Fortune.”

    1. If Paulson Jr. doesn’t get the job, I would bet a dollar to a doughnut it will be someone related to Messina, Yamauchi, Placido,or Ayala. There will be nepotism involved with the replacement City Manager.

  3. Congratulations Julio. You did a fine job in Alhambra. You are worth every penny.

Do you have a question you would like to ask Alhambra candidates?

Ask your Alhambra City Council OR your Alhambra Unified School Board Candidates a question ahead of the 2020 elections!