Citing the Economy, City Manager Waives 4.5-percent Raise

Opting to forego a 4.5-percent raise “wasn’t that difficult of a decision, quite frankly,” City Manager Kurt Starman said Wednesday, a day after the City Council met behind closed doors for an annual evaluation of his performance.

Starman said the salary increase was called for in the employment contract he agreed to in 2006, when he accepted the city manager position. The economy, however, was far rosier eight years ago.

“I told the council, prior to my evaluation, that (the raise) didn’t feel comfortable to me and I volunteered to unilaterally waive that increase,” Starman said. “The council, to a person, gave me a positive evaluation but I, for my own reasons, to reflect the current status of the economy, waived the increase scheduled for May of 2014.”

“The city has been very fair to me,” said Starman, whose career with Redding began in 1991 as the budget services officer. “I love this city; I grew up here. I have roots. It’s my honor and privilege to serve as city manager of Redding.”

Kurt Starman, Redding City Manager

Starman was paid $207,167 in 2013, with assorted benefits bringing his total compensation to a reported $303,811. He deferred pay raises in 2011 and 2012 and has been subject to City Hall’s “furlough Fridays” program since 2011.

In other action at its Tuesday night meeting, the council:

— Issued proclamations to and honored Redding Fire Capt. Michael Blair and Redding police officer Jason Rhoads for their selections as the Redding Exchange Club’s 2013 firefighter and police officer of the year.

— Voted 5-0 to accept $139,000 from the Indian Gaming Local Community Benefit Committee. The money is provided by the Redding Rancheria under a state agreement to help mitigate the effects of casinos on communities.

The council followed the Local Community Benefit Committee recommendations to distribute $40,000 for financial crimes investigations by Redding police; $50,000 to develop a heavy equipment training facility at Fire Station No. 6; and $49,000 for bikeway and pedestrian path designs on the Highway 273 corridor between south Redding and Win-River Casino.

Jon Lewis is a freelance writer living in Redding. He has more than 30 years experience writing for newspapers and magazines. Contact him at

Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis is a freelance writer living in Redding. He has more than 30 years experience writing for newspapers and magazines. Contact him at
Comment Policy: We welcome your comments, with some caveats: Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it. If you are constantly negative or a general pest, troll, or hater, we will ban you from the site forever. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Comments are disabled on articles older than 90 days. Thank you. Carry on.

6 Responses

  1. Avatar Ginny says:

    The City Manager is overpaid for his position in a town and area the size of Redding. What were the Council members thinking of when they put the job out for that price? No wonder the City can’t afford to repair the streets, hire needed police and fire, etc.

    Gee whiz, and the guy gets to take off on “black” Fridays, plus deferring his salary increases from 2011 and 2012, which means he can collect later!

  2. Avatar Breakfast Guy says:

    What exactly does City Manager do per average work day for the people of this city to warrant over THREE HUNDRED AND THREE THOUSAND in annual compensation?

  3. Avatar Mike says:

    Well, let me clue the last two bloggers in, Kurt Starman does an excellent job. The City of Redding has an 11 percent reserve and has a pulse compared to some other less stable cities.
    He declined the raise because he fears that he will be fired if a Tea Party majority is elected in the next election. Let’s pray that doesn’t happen to our community.

    Good leadership comes at a price. The last thing we need is a City Manager without qualifications to sail the ship through rough seas.

  4. Avatar Ginny says:

    With Redding’s medium annual income per household at $34,000 and per family at $41,000, the City’s manager position is overpaid for the income of Redding’s majority. The City is top heavy with managers, when there are less low level employees. Just check the salary and benefits on the City of Redding’s website.

    How easy it is to blame the Tea Party for all the ills in this Country. That is just spouting the left of center’s political argument. If the City Manager is afraid of anyone, then the people, all the people, who are the boss because they work for us, the Redding citizens — in the end should and do have the final say in how they want their government to operate.

    Oh, just in case Mike you think I might be a Tea Party member, may I take this opportunity to say I am not now nor have I ever have been a member. Just a citizen who has never even attended one of their meetings. That doesn’t mean their ideas should not be heard. Or they aren’t operating as good citizens. Some groups bring people running for elected office to Open Public Forum Meetings for all to hear hopefuls running for elected office ideas, good or bad. That shouldn’t terriorize anyone.

  5. Avatar Jeffery says:

    Thanks Mike for my chuckle of the day! I would like for you to reread your statements and ask yourself if you “really” believe in what you wrote?

  6. Avatar Mike says:

    Ginny and Jeffery- Mark my words, if Patrick Jones is re-elected along with one other Tea Party favorite, then the new majority will destroy this community. Gary Cadd is a failure when it comes to progressive and intelligent thinking. Trust my words, there will be a huge change at City Hall if that happens. We need intelligent leadership and that does come at a price in this day and age.

    I really don’t care what annual average income is. We have a very large and growing number of un-educated citizens who will never be taxpayers, but will continue to suck out the life out of those who do pay taxes. Why do we continue to welcome those persons into our city?

    This community is full of those who want services, but don’t want to pay for it. There is a growing anti-labor faction that wants to pay minimum wage for any and every job. Just look at the hotel issue.

    I am clued in to what is going on locally and nationwide. I’m happy that you found my thoughts entertaining. 🙂